Problem with head compressed after strung

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Shangri La, Jul 28, 2011.

1. Shangri LaHall of Fame

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I noticed some of my racquets head are shortened by a couple of mm longitudinally after strung. When I string I make sure racquet is mounted properly, and I dont have too much of a tension difference in mains/crosses - e.g. M:gut54/Xoly50. What else could contribute to the head compression? Thanks.

2. Steve HuffLegend

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Cheap machine that isn't that sturdy. If it's a Head racket, you may want to try stringing the crosses a little tighter than the mains.

3. lethalfangProfessional

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If, after stringing, there is a greater total tension longitudinally than there is latitudinally, the racquet head will shorten.
Not a problem.
But if you're curious, you can decrease main tensions and/or increase cross tensions to even them out.

4. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Newton's third law

The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.

When you string a racket on a two point stringer the two points support the racket from bending inward. Many inexpensive two point machine do not hold well.

When you string a racket on a six point stringer the two points at the top and bottom support the racket from bending inward. As the frame tries to bend inwards from the top and bottom the sides try to bend outward. The four supports on the sides of a six point support the racket from bending outward and help prevent the frame from bending inward from the top and bottom.

If your racket is shorter it is wider too or more circular. This causes the racket to be under stress while you are playing with it because the strings are what is keeping the racket deformed. Therefore, there is more tension on your main strings that you have on the crosses because the frame is trying to return back to it normal state.

Irvin

5. lethalfangProfessional

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I don't believe it's due to the mounting.
I believe it is a simple fact that, it is nearly impossible to find the perfectly equalizing tension, such that the compressing force from the mains cancels out exactly the elongating force from the crosses.

6. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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^^If that were true since there are more crosses than mains the greater force would be on the sides and you would have a longer racket.

Irvin

7. lethalfangProfessional

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Due to the substantial amount of friction caused by the mains when a cross is strung, the tension actually "felt" by the cross string and the racquet is less than the force that you're pulling it.

8. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
9. MarrratSafinHall of Fame

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Irvin is correct, it's all about the mounting. I've restored more than a few shortened/deformed frames, mostly Head frames, back to original by simply 'stretching' the frame by the exact measurement. Btw I use a 6-pointer and I'm not sure if it'd work with a 2-pointer. So for example if it's 2mm short, just stretch the frame by 2mm with the 12 o'clock mount the next time you string it and it will come out perfect, trust me. Also it depends on your machine. On certain 6-pointers, there is more flex than usual and the frame needs to be stretched a few mm's for every stringjob to ensure it comes out the same.

Regarding the tension for mains and crosses, it's not really an issue if the difference is not too big. Even with Head frames I've done the crosses 3-4 lbs lower than the mains in a full-bed setup before (same string both mains and crosses) and with the correct mounting it always comes out perfect. I'd imagine the frame would start to deform if the difference is like 8 lbs in a full-bed setup. But of course, if it's a poly/multi hybrid it'd most likely be fine to string the multi 8 lbs higher than the poly.

Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
10. SteveILegend

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Hi,

In most cases it is due to a certain type of frame (some of the Heads) and a poor mounting/support system.. or just bad mounting by the user. If you are using a Klippermate or one of lower end 2-point systems.. there is your problem. You will indeed need to stretch the frame when mounting. The question has been asked many.. many times. All the Klippermate users will swear it never happens to them. Do a Head Radical on a Klippermate and you will get compression unless you stretch the frame when mounting.

I moved from a Klippermate to a 6-point Alpha and have never seen the problem since. Not once..

11. Shangri LaHall of Fame

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Thanks for all the advice guys. I have a Silent partner swing, which is basically a 2-point system. I don't want to string cross tighter because of the string bed feel. I have this shortening problem with a HEAD prestige youteck and POG OS, but not on Boris Becker London. And I *think* the HEAD and POG, when previously strung by pro/TW, didnt have this problem.

I've thought about but am hesitant to stretch the frame longitudinally when mounting, because I think it will completely screw up the tensions.

What I'm thinking of doing are

- Not increasing the tensions of the last mains when tie off. I always increase 10 lbs to compensate for tension loss but I dont think last main tension matters to performance.

- Increasing the first and last 2 or 3 crosses tension by 1 to 2 pounds.

By doing so I will reduce the longitudinal tension by about 25 lbs which should help.

12. spillaiRookie

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I just finished stringing my head youtek radical pro. the frame is now wider. Can you please explain the stretching of the head process. I am using a gamma x-2

13. BudBionic Poster

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Happens to many Head frames (Radicals, Prestiges, Pro Tours, etc.) regardless of 2 vs 6-point stringing.

Next time, string the crosses 10 lbs. higher and the frame won't round out or shorten by a couple mm.

14. jgrushingRookie

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I hate it when people call out a brand as being a problem. I've strung hundreds of racquets on a Klippermate over a twenty year time period. I've compressed one racquet head--mine fortunately. It was because I forgot to tighten one of the mounting supports. That could happen on any stringer. If you compress racquet heads with a Klippermate, it's because you don't mount the racquet properly or you're doing something really unusual. I don't think they'd be in business with essentially the same design for so long if the machine by it's nature damaged frames.

It's one thing when a company is known for poor quality and bad service. Klipper is not one of those companies.

15. RabbitG.O.A.T.

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I really can't believe some of what I'm reading. I string on a Neos and have never had a Head racquet "compress", or any other kind of racquet. Stringing 10 pounds higher to compensate? What of the end result?

Guys, short of it is, anytime a racquet compresses or shifts or the shape is different, then it is NOT a good thing. It's hard enough on a frame just stringing it normally, but all these suggested "fixes" are just plain scary. The problem here is either the mounting system used, or the way in which the frame was mounted.

16. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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I could not agree more.

Irvin

17. jgrushingRookie

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Sorry but that's complete BS. I've strung plenty of Radicals with no problem whatsoever. I simply mount the frame firmly, make sure it's secure and string the racquet. I've never purposely "stretched" a frame. Obviously, you didn't use the mounting on the KM well.

18. fortun8sonHall of Fame

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That will help. It is a controversial technique and the jury is still out on whether it even makes a difference in the way the racquet plays.
10lbs is a lot. I rarely do more than 5 and then only on hybrids where I'm stringing the crosses higher anyway.

19. BudBionic Poster

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Many who have strung Head frames on this board (regardless of the mounting system) have noticed the heads occasionally round out slightly and the frames shorten by a couple of millimeters... depending on the main/cross tension and the type of string used.

It's nothing new and the subject has been raised numerous times. So, please don't act like a know-it-all and state it should never happen or it's an issue with the mounting system or the operator. It DOES happen and I've never noticed it apart from Head frames. The Prestige, Radical and PT 280/630 are infamous for rounding and shortening.

Just because you two have never noticed it doesn't mean it doesn't occur. How often do you measure the racquet's length when you finish stringing Head frames, BTW?

Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
20. RabbitG.O.A.T.

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Granted I don't measure each racquet as it comes off the stringer. But adding 10 pounds for a few millimeters? I don't care who the stringer is or what machine they use, that is terrible advice. I have always been told that stringing crosses substantially higher than mains is also bad for the frame. This certainly qualifies as substantial.

And, I also don't randomly add 10 pounds tension to crosses to compensate which screws up a string job just to make the frame look right. Have you ever played with a frame strung with a 10 pound difference between the mains and crosses? That is totally hosed, and IMO, terrible advice. I'm not being a "know-it-all" when I validly criticize that advice. It's terrible advice, it's not solving the original problem, it ruins the feel of a string job, and it results in a terrible end product for whoever was unlucky enough to pay for that string job.

Let me ask you, if you took your frame to someone to be strung say at 60 pounds, would you want them to add 10 pounds on the crosses to "striaghten it out"? How do you think a string job at 60 on the mains and 70 on the crosses would play? Hell, even 55 on the mains and 65 on the crosses?

Again, I simply cannot believe some of the "advice" that is being handed out. I don't think the issue is a couple of millimeters as much as it is telling someone to 'add 10 pounds' or stretch a frame by applying force to it. And FYI, I've strung plenty of Head frames and never seen any noticeable difference in the head shape after stringing.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
21. SteveILegend

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"The problem here is either the mounting system used, or the way in which the frame was mounted.". End of story. Klippermate knows it happens.. they gave me the fix... Stretch the frame. Their head tech gave me the advice.

22. jgrushingRookie

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You're previous post essentially says that a Head Radical can't be strung on a KM w/o compressing the head. A number of friends that I've strung for over the years play Radicals and other listed Head racquets. I am saying that I string them (and have) without compression.

It would surprise me that the folks at KlipperUSA would tell you to purposely stretch a frame. Not denying, just saying that's not the kind of answers I've received over the years when I've had questions.

I can easily understand how compression could occur with a KM. However, if the frame plates are tightened down with the lip edges securely against the racquet frame at the throat and the head, the racquets don't have any room to move. It must move at the top or the throat for compression to occur, in my mind. Of course, the wing nuts on the upward supports must be secured also. My only disaster, probably 15 years ago, happened when I didn't tighten one of the supports.

23. rjwProfessional

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I don't have a lot of experience with all this, but I do have a pair of 30" long calipers and have measured the length and width of my apdgt's, strung on a BAB cp machine (6 point), unstrung, and after re-stringing on my model H (2 point)

All measurement were within 1 to 1.5 mm of each other

At first, I was not totally overjoyed, I understand why, in that the cp machine strung thm at a straight 58 and 60 while I strung them on my model H at 56/52 and 52/49

My thoughts are that if you stretch the hoop, either along it's length or width, it may springback to close to right on it's unstrung dimensions, but what happens to the actual tension.

Seems logical that if you string the mains at 60 after coaxing the length to be a bit longer, then it must lose some tension when it springs back?

Does this make sense to anyone?

Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
24. BudBionic Poster

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Then, live with a shorter frame with a rounder head

You speak like a 10 lb. differential between crosses and mains is unheard of and is potentially frame damaging. People string with 10 lb. cross/main differentials all the time. Personally, if a Head frames slightly deforms post-stringing when pulled off the machine, I don't see it as a big deal. Others may not feel the same. I was giving a recommendation on how to prevent it.

No, it's not. There are people who string 6 pt. mounting on this board who have also noticed certain head frames are rounder and shorter after being pulled from the machine. The issue sounds more like some people don't notice it or measure the frame length after stringing certain Head frames. If one doesn't notice, it's obviously not going to be an issue.

I've never experienced this phenomenon with any frames other than 3 or 4 Head frames (only) and I've strung 500+ frames on my 2-pt stringer. Coincidence? I'm afraid not.

We've all strung these same frames without them compressing. Nobody said it happens every type we string one. It occurs when the tension and/or stiffness of the main string overpowers the crosses. It simply pulls the head together longitudinally, making it appear slightly rounder. Once you recognize that, then measure the length and you''ll note, the frame is slightly less than 27" long.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
25. RabbitG.O.A.T.

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So, if a guy brings a racquet to you to string at 60 pounds, you have zero qualms of stringing it +10 on the crosses to make the frame look right? And, no, people don't string +10 difference all the time. I am still amazed that anyone would suggest such a difference especially in light of all the talk on these boards, you included, of a difference of a gram here or a balance point there.

And I don't live with a shorter, rounder head, just doesn't happen when I string on the Neos. And your recommendation is bogus, you don't do that to someone who has requested a tension.

26. SteveILegend

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1) It is not a problem with all frames and low end stringing machines.

2) It is a problem when you string certain frames with low end stringing machines. These low end stringing machines have too much flex or play in mounting supports or base. Or a both could be an issue.

3) This not a function of 2 point vs 6 point mounting systems. There are many fine machines that employ 2 point and 6 point systems.

4) When you combine certain frames and certain low end machines (Sorry Klippermate Users), you see head compression.

5) The frame I have seen this occur with are many of the Head Twin Tube models.. ie Radicals, Dunlop MW series. Some of Volkl line. You will not see head compession on a Wilson PS 6.1 and a POG.

6) Incorrect Mounting (User Error) on a good machine can also produce head compression with these certain frames

Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
27. SteveILegend

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Rabbit... the Neos is bulit like a tank.. you will not see head compression. The mounting system could withstand a bomb blast. The better made and older machines employ better materials and workmanship. The lower end systems are using thinner, lower grade materials and have design flaws. Thus the lower price. BTW.. folks do not string + or - 10 lbs difference all the time. If a customer requested it I would be nervous. The most I have ever done is 5 or 6. I would never do it without talking to the player 1st. Yikes...!!!

Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
28. jgrushingRookie

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I'm sorry to beat a dead horse but there is no flex in the mounting system on my Klippermate. Granted, mine's 20 years old and they might have changed it a bit. But the mounting posts on mine are half inch X 2 inch solid steel. You could pull 500 pounds of pressure on these and they're going nowhere. The most common racquets I string are Volkl V1 Classics and Dunlop Aerogels. Also, lots of Prince with O holes. Don't have a problem.

I still contend that poor mounting is the culprit in most of the cases. String tension differential could play a role also. I almost never string more than 2 pounds difference.

29. BudBionic Poster

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Did I say that? Stop assuming

The OP noticed something and I offered a recommendation on how to prevent it.

A far as I'm concerned, this discussion between you and me on this issue is over.

30. Kam2010Rookie

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I have a Tyger String Eco-45 stringing machine which I got pretty cheap about £240

I have strung about 15 rackets so far and only had this problem once and that was with a Head racket and this was only because it was too tight on the clamps once I cut the strings out ( Mains ) as it was a 2 piece job it went back to original shape and I restrung it after and it was perfectly fine.

I tried it on another 2 Head rackets and both were fine, I tried wooden rackets also they are good.

All I need now is some rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover so I can clean the damn thing and start stringing again!!

Always remember as YuLitle's video help very much and the guy is a legend simple as.
Anyway he explains on one video about mounting, it does not need to be tight at all just tight enough so the racket hardly moves from side to side.

31. RabbitG.O.A.T.

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Exactly. And to suggest that anyone add 10 pounds is just plain wrong no matter the circumstance.

Did he say it was his racquet? Would you want someone doing that to your racquet? My question was if you would do that to make a racquet brought to you look right.

Your recommendation was bogus, that's my point.

32. SteveILegend

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It is very possible that the Klippermate was better made 20 years ago. There are so many reports of this issue, can't all be mounting errors. If you check and do a search (as Bud stated.. asked and explored over and over) there are many, many threads. Back to what I said...way back many times. Bad machines and bad mounting...

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Just strung my new YT Prestiges and no problems at all with head distortion. I even compared the first racquet I strung with another one that was still unstrungs, and no distortion at all.

I have a Gamma X6-FC, 6 point mounting.

I also already strung a YT prestige Mid and another YT Prestige MP and no problems as well.

34. RabbitG.O.A.T.

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Hmmmm....could we deduce then that the problem may be between the floor and the tensioning mechanicsm somewhere?

35. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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All this got me curious and I had a Head YouTek Three Star come in. I measured the racket and here are the results:

Unbroken strings in racket - 27 10/16"
No strings in racket - 27 10/16"
Mounted racket no strings - 27 11/16"
4 center mains tensioned - 27 10/16"
8 center mains tensioned - 27 9/16"
12 center mains tensioned - 27 8/16"
all 16 mains tensioned - 27 7/16"
Knots tied clamps released - 27 7/16"
top four crosses tensioned - 27 8/16"
top eight crosses tensioned - 27 9/16"
top twelve crosses tensioned - 27 9/16"
all crosses tensioned - 27 10/16"
crosses ties off - 27 10/16"
racket unmounted - 27 10/16"

Mains and crosses were strung with Gamma SG w/WearGuard @ 57 lbs 2 piece pattern. Racket was compressed 3/16" stringing the mains but all length was recovered when crosses were strung. End result was the same as the start.

Irvin

Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
36. BudBionic Poster

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Nobody said it happens on every Head frame every time it's strung. It depends on the tension and the string used.

Seriously, this issue has been documented going back years. It happens on every type of stringing machine. Is it a coincidence it's always Head frames? Probably not. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not depending on the type of string used and the tension.

Let's stop beating a dead horse here like others have stated.

Of course it will go back to its original shape once the strings are cut out. Clamping too tight won't make a head compress.

Why is it a few of you continue to refute this?

Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
37. SteveILegend

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Thanks for the post...

Not going to see any problem with a Gamma X6-FC 6 point. That is not a low end machine in my book. When I am talking low end.. Alpha String Pal....Klippermate etc.

The results I was getting on the Klippermate was anywhere from 1/16 to 1/4 inch shortening.

Many folks just don't notice the issue until you get 2 or 3 of the same frame and have strung done on in a proshop. Then you notice....Hummmm... wow that does not seem right. You can reallly see it on a Radical O/S.

38. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Just strung a Wilson (K)Three but did not take all the same measurements. The results were:

Pre-Strung from Wilson - 27 17/32"
No strings - 27 16/32"
Mounted - 27 18/32"
14 center mains tensioned - 27 9/32"
3rd to 18th cross tensioned - 27 16/32"
After completing ATW - 27 16/32"
unmounted 27 16/32"

Strung with Gamma Live Wire XP 17 gauge @ 62 lbs. Although the head compressed a little more with the Wilson racket the end result was the same strung and unstrung on both rackets. I imagine the Wilson compressed a bit more because the tension was higher.

Irvin

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Bud, I by no means wanted to beat a dead horse by posting that. I just decided to share my experience since the subject was about, mainly, Head frames and frame distortion. And I just started stringing by myself 4 months ago.

As Irvin has written, I also noticed that all frames elongates a bit after mounted, but they all come to their normal shape after strung.

40. rjwProfessional

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I would like to know what you guys are using to measure the hoops?

A tape measure is probably a joke...try a set of vernier calipers and tell me what you get, before and after...

jmo

41. Shangri LaHall of Fame

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I've been stringing myself for a little over a year and I consider myself a DIYer in general. I realize I had some flaws when first started stringing (for example clamp not adjusted tight enough causing losing tension when stringing crosses) and recently discovered an improvement in mounting technique on my SP swing. The problem I noticed in my OP was on a POG OS (1-2mm) and a YT Prestige MP (3-4mm). The POG was strung before the mounting improvement and I'm confident it would be fine if I string again. But the YT was done after. I have a new Donnay Red 94 and Gold 99 coming and will see how they go.

These are very valuable data. I see 2 things here: firstly, there is a very slight stretch in mounting of 1/16" (1.6 mm). Secondly, after strung, there is a compression of 1/16" (1.6 mm). So I wonder what delta of pre-/post-strung measurements do people consider 'no compression'? My POG shortening is no more than 2mm and can be considered ok then.

42. Steve HuffLegend

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Irvin, I forget, but what machine are you using?

I string enough rackets that I can compare. I string close to a thousand rackets/year, and have been stringing since 1979 (not always 1000/yr in the beginning, but still, over 10,000 rackets). I've strung on cheap 2-point machines (Court & Slope). I've also owned and used an Ektelon H, Serrano 550B (both 2 point "tanks"), a Winn 4pt machine, and now an Alpha Apex 6point machine with a Wise head. Frames deformed more with the cheap 2 pointers than the others. With the 6pt machines, deformation was least. Not because they held the rackets sturdier than the the Ektelon or Serrano, but because the 6 and 12 mounts were adjusted by a screw and not by hand, so it was easier to pull the frame out more (stretch it a tiny bit). Believe me, there were other ways to stretch frames, even on the cheap 2 pointer with Prince Classic frames. In the early 80's, frame braces were made for a reason--mainly to stretch aluminum oversize rackets. They weren't advertised that way, but that's what they were used for. Anyway, take my comments for what they are--my opinion.

43. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Steve I use a Gamma 6004 6 Point self-centering. I used to see a lot of the Prince Pros that were all distorted and the original Wilson Hammer OS version was bad for that. But most of the time the graphite frame restored to the correct shape when the strings were out. On the Prince aluminum frame you had to restore them before you strung them.

Irvin

44. SteveILegend

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Steve,

Thanks for your input. BTW.. are you still getting good results with that Wilson Red Alert String???

Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
45. Steve HuffLegend

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Yes, the Red Alert is ok. I didn't like it the very 1st time I hit with it, but have enjoyed it after that. Currently, I have Gamma ESP 16 at 62 in one PK ki 10 PSE, Solinco Tru Feel 16 at 62 in one ki 10 PSE, Solinco Tour Revolution 18 at 30 in one ki 5, and Red Alert 16 at 60 in the other ki 5. Basically, just doing some experimenting again.

46. BudBionic Poster

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You have some calipers that are 27" long?

We're measuring the frame length, which is easy to do with a tape measure. Many times, too, I'd place the strung frame against an identical unstrung frame. The slightly shorter frame was pretty apparent.

47. Steve HuffLegend

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I have calipers that I can measure the inside and/or the outside of a hoop.

48. rjwProfessional

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I think that my calipers will measure 24"....they are pretty BIG, but no sharp edges, so they won't scratch anything.

Maybe this has been done before, but I'd like to take them to a sporting goods store and measure a lot of pre-strung racquets. Perhaps 6 or 12 of a Head microgel radical mp, which come pre-strung from the factory.

I mention this stick for several reasons

1) SA had at least 6 of them
2) It seems that Head has been getting the not so good rap
3) My son has a pair of them, and I should be restringing 1 of them soon, so the unstrung domensions would be easy to get

49. IrvinG.O.A.T.

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'rjw' you are making an awful big assumption there and you know what happens when you assume. You are assuming that the all 6 or 12 of those rackets started out at the same length. I doubt that is true. That would probably only be the same if they came out of the same mold and the butt capps were all put on the same.

Just measure the Head of the racket inside to inside or outside to outside.

Irvin

50. rjwProfessional

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Agreed...I was not going to measure the overall length of the racquet, just the LxW inside of hoop....this might clear things up a bit, as far as what the Factory deems acceptable?

Mind you, the sticks have been hanging there for quite a while, so I'm sure there is plenty of tension loss.....but it might be worth the effort?