PV Audio's Playtest Thread

Discussion in 'Strings' started by pvaudio, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    After re-reading PVs post I am shutting up! I need his advise and have a better setup because of his testing.
     
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    PV,

    Per your suggestion, I'll probably string up your Unifibre gut mains with B5E crosses Sunday. No way I'm using the rest of that Unifibre as a cross!!! The B5E/Unifibre is playing nicely at 52/56, so do you think I should just string it up at 56/52? I'm not a gut expert so any insight would be appreciated.
     
  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yeah, 55/52 is a pretty good setup with gut mains. Unifibre isn't exactly the livliest one out there, so you should doubly be fine.
     
  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I like the fact that it is not lively. That jives with my game. Thanks for the advice, hopefully that twine is much easier to work with on the mains. :)
     
  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Initial thoughts on Whispertouch HT Natural Gut 1.20mm / Co-Focus 17 @ 53/50lbs CP / Youtek Prestige MP 18x20 @ 345g.

    Once strung, the stringbed felt pretty boardy. Not the end of the world as I'm used to boardy stringbeds but hitting flat, I'd say the stringbed actually felt stiffer than a full bed of WS Scorpion 17 @ 52lbs CP.

    The stringbed did soften up noticeably after an hour or so of hitting, though whether that was due to the Co-Focus losing tension or the coating of the gut breaking down (or a combination of both) is difficult to tell given that its a hybrid setup.

    I would have liked to have playtested this some more but only managed to get 2-2.5 hours of playing time with these strings due to picking up a injury (unrelated to the strings).

    Performancewise, the strings were a tale of two halves....one good and one not so good.

    1. During the first hour or so

    I thought the strings played incredibly well.

    Slices in particular were phenomenal. You feel as if you can almost hold the ball on the strings throughout the entire slice. I found that I could be really aggressive with the slice and yet there wasn't a single occasion during the first hour where I sliced the ball into the net, or floated a slice. Slices were significantly better than a full bed of Scorpion 17 where the ball feels as if it leaves the stringbed too quickly. Here the ball feels as if it stays on the strings for an eternity. You can feel the ball so much more. Not quite as much action on the ball off the bounce as with BHBR17 (an exceptional string during the first couple of hours for attacking backhand slices) but lovely feel, and there's alot of control and adjustability here.

    Serves were good. Noticeably more pace on flat serves than say a fullbed of WS Scorpion 17. The extra power was a nice bonus. Kick serves and slice serves? Seemed okay, but I didn't think its was better than a full bed Scorpion 17 setup, though it strung in a Prestige MP, which isn't my normal stick. There didn't seem to be anywhere near as much as movement or spin on the ball on serves as with BHBR17, though again subject to the caveat that I wasn't using my normal stick (BLX 6.1) so I can't make a 100% direct comparison.

    Topspin groundstrokes. This where I thought the setup was interesting. Hitting topspin forehands and you notice almost straight away how much more adjustable the stroke feels compared to a full poly setup. Hit flat? Fine. Want more of a trajectory? Fine. Want less pace on the ball? Fine. What to hit a shot with a higher arc to buy you time to recover? Fine. There just seems to be noticeably more adjustability and range of shotmaking available. The other thing I noticed is that the ball stays on the strings longer compared a full poly bed where the ball leaves the strings much sooner. I found that I had to adjust my stroking slightly and I found myself having to follow the ball longer through the stroke because the ball stays on the strings longer. Are topspin groundstrokes overall better or worse than a full bed of poly? It's difficult to say. It's certainly different.

    2. After an hour or so of hitting

    This is where it all seems to go downhill.

    The stringbed has noticeably softened whether due to the poly losing tension or the coating of the gut breaking down or both. However, the problem here is that the gut seems to have increased in power quite noticeably. Looking to finish short balls, midcourt, it just seems to be that bit harder to get the ball up, over and particularly down into the court because the gut feels as if it wants to send the ball long due to that increased power and springiness lengthening the trajectory of the ball. I'm not used to soft stringbeds and this feels a bit mushy - not the same tight, controlled stringbed as during the first hour. I'm also not convinced that I'm hitting as heavy or as controlled a ball as I would be with a full bed of poly. All this was happening during the 1-2.5hours of the life of the strings. I would have liked to have playtested this strings for longer, but I doubt that the gut would have become lower powered from 2.5+ hours onwards.

    I have another half set of each string remaining. Will probably string it in my usual racquet (BLX 6.1) and see how it plays over a longer period of time. I suspect the results will be the same, but I'm probably going to adjust the tensions upwards, allow for a 'break in' period or so and then see what the strings are like after that. Can't say that a break in period is the way I'd like strings to perform - I'd rather have strings at their best when freshly strung - but there's no way I'm restringing gut after every hour or so of play.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Got my annual club tournament in a month. Trying to figure out if I want to postpone string testing until after then. I am curious about trying the gut mains with poly crosses. I'd also like to try a full natural gut job just so I've kind of tried about every string type out there.

    PVAudio, you studying for finals yet?
     
  7. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Malheureusement, je suis.
     
  8. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Nope, not even to finals yet. Got enormous projects in all classes: neuroscience, probability theory and digital signal processing. THEN I get to study for finals woo!

    On a good note though, I got engaged this weekend :) :) :) :)
     
  9. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i hope for you she loves tennis.:) congrats!

    now get married and have kid(s) so you can forget about it:).
     
  10. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Congrats!!
     
  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, congratulations........................sucker. :) J/K
     
  12. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Let's put it like this: in the two best of 3 matches we have played, I've won one. Not one match, one game. Three bagels and a breadstick. She went to school on a tennis scholarship, and it's only now that I stand a chance at winning (training my ass off) that she won't keep score!
     
  13. Smasher08

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    Lol well done . . . and congrats! :)
     
  14. fortun8son

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    Mazel Tov!
     
  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Marrying a tennis girl, good move. At least she will understand the obsession.
     
  16. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Marrying a tennis girl myself, I believe this is the only way to go! Congratulations!! You'll be allowed to use the living room T.V. for the majors ;-)
     
  17. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Congrats BUT..........It was nice knowing you.
     
  18. hescobal

    hescobal Rookie

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    haha, yea really. I dunno about pv's girlfriend, but my gf played tennis in college and we played a lot when we began dating. It was great to have something so great in common, but she doesn't want to play as much or as long (3+ hours) like me.

    We still have fun doing other things though besides tennis, you just have to know you might not play as much as you use to, but it works out fine

    Sorry for the threadjack :)
     
  19. Bahama Scott

    Bahama Scott New User

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    Nothing to do with your girlfriend but....congrats on the engagement.
    I have been playing for the last couple of months with the LT in mains and Scorpion crosses at 41 each. The spin is really crazy good and I am well pleased. Although we have completely different games-I'm sure my power is a whole factor lower than yours- can you tell me how the strings change in performance. Im sensing the power level going up and lower movement/spin as the strings begin to wear. Seems to be happening around 10 hours. I love this set up for many reasons, especially how gentle it is on my elbow....but I wish the power level was about 10-20% lower. Can you recommend a tension in the 41 realm that might lower the power a little?
    Thanks, for taking time to answer, I know you must be getting near finals time.
     
  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yep, projects and finals abound! Here's my suggestion: prestretch the gut 10%. It will lower the tension loss that you're experiencing and keep the playability linear for longer. Note that it will change the feel of the stringbed, however. You'll just have to try it and see. When I play tournaments (such as this weekend coming up), I always prestretch and string mid-way during the week so everything is settled by the time I hit. Otherwise, I don't PS because as the power goes up, it forces you to generate more RHS to keep the ball in. It's a form of training you to increase your shot percentage. I find it works quite well.
     
  21. neil1b

    neil1b Rookie

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    Pvaudio,

    So I have been a long time user of cyclone 17g as I feel it's excellent. I have also been very impressed with alien 16g. I have yet to try bhbr. How does it differ from the cyclone and did you like it that much better as a ful bed? What tensions played best?

    Thx in advance

    My racquet is the exo3 tour 100 18x20
     
  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Honestly, no words I can use can describe the difference. It's not that it's a paradigm shift in performance, rather they play and feel just so much differently. You would have to try both and see which you prefer. Alien is actually the most unique of the three, so if you like that, then chances are that you'll be able to easily differentiate between your three choices to find the one you like best. I do wish Alien made both a. 40ft sets instead of ~38ft ones and b. thinner gauges. That's a discussion for another day, however. :)
     
  23. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I should also note that I string higher in addition to prestretch when I have matches imminent. 53.5/48 WT/CoFocus, 10%.
     
  24. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    I acutaly played with alien alot over the summer, but the guy in my hometown said that he would not string it anymore, because it is so hard to string. Ether that or he would start charging me if I wanted it that bad. He also said that all of the sets were short, that you could never go oversize with alien

    I know it has been awhile since then but did you think it was hard to string it for me?
     
  25. neil1b

    neil1b Rookie

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    I did not have any problem whatsoever with alien string. It's as easy to string as most other poly's. The biggest PIA was Solinco barbed wire.

    The alien seems to have a great feel of the bat after stringing. Did not seem to need the break in time of say a head sonic pro. I thought the string is actually very good stuff.
     
  26. neil1b

    neil1b Rookie

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    Pv, alien does make both 17 and 16 gauges as well as reels so the 38.5 foot thing doesnt matter much if one enjoys the string and need to string an OS.
     
  27. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    alien is an awesome string, is has such good feel from the back of the court. such good control. you can swing all out and the ball will still stay in the court.
     
  28. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yeah Adam, Alien is annoying to string, but honestly not worth charging more as there are many more that are worse. Adrenaline is harder to string, and ALU Rough is simply in a different category. It's just a stiff feeling poly. He is also right that the sets are shorter than 40ft, and as I mentioned, an OS frame wouldn't likely get fully strung unless you were really vigilant with your measurements. However, while you use a 93, it is still 16x20. That's not exactly an abnormally short amount of string, and I had plenty left over to tension and tie-off with by simply cutting the set in half like I normally do. I suggest getting a more experienced stringer back home.
     
  29. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Someone in this thread at least asked how I weave crosses. Since I have sweaty hands, and thus can't push/pull weave, I had to generate my own technique. This still gets me below 20 mins on an open string pattern w/ full poly. On my own stick with natural gut and poly, I can still get under 20, but just barely.

    http://youtu.be/D5_yivwHddc
     
  30. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Unique...and obviously effective.
     
  31. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    And, saves finger tips :)
     
  32. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Mr. PV,

    Up&Comer and I were discussing those L-Tec strings over in his thread. Maybe it is time we all tried it to determine whether the hype is legit. Have a great weekend, don't study too hard. ;)
     
  33. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    You can't without knowing the 'secret sauce' 'give me $500 first for the multi-day stringing course' stringing technique...

    (That said, I'd be happy to donate $5 towards the cost of any multi-day secret sauce stringing course you go on provided you agree to publish!)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    They do have a PDF on the GG website that details some of the secret sauce.

    If I strung for others, I would definitely attend one of those forums. They have had a few in Orlando but they are expensive.
     
  35. jdunnie014159

    jdunnie014159 Rookie

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    I'll donate the next $20
     
  36. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I think everyone would appreciate it greatly!
     
  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Just put in Whisper Touch 17L full job in. Trying to keep some minor TE from getting worse. Thanks PV for sending that to me.
     
  38. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I had a light another couple of hours hit with the Whispertouch HT gut / Co-Focus combination, about 3 weeks after I last used the same racquet with the same strings in it.

    I'm not feeling the love.

    The gut is stilll playing really well but the Co-Focus seems to have dropped alot of tension and is starting to feel 'tinny' when you strike the ball. It's not overpowered but something in the stringbed just doesn't feel right - I suspect its the Co-Focus going/gone dead and not providing much/any elasticity. I can't imagine that Co-Focus would be a soft poly in a full bed. It still feels a bit boardy and dare I say, a bit harsh. Nobody seems to play with Co-Focus as a full bed.

    Why is it the poly of choice as a cross? I think I would be tempted to use something like Silverstring or Scorpion if I was going to string a gut/poly hybrid again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    PVAudio,

    The Whisper Touch had a quick death in my bag. I did hit about 40 serves with it but that is all I got to try it out for. Anyhoo, there was some lively discussion on another thread about using power pads to prevent the gut from breaking where it did. Take a look at the pic below and let me know what you think:

    [​IMG]
     
  40. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    Looks like you got pick-pocketed to the tune of $27.95 plus shipping
     
  41. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    BTW, in your current "minor TE" state, can you hit with b5e/mcs with no pain afterwards?
     
  42. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Have not tried that combo in a few months. Thought about replacing Thunder Blast with MCS as a cross or possibly putting full MCS in 1 racket.
     
  43. ethebull

    ethebull Rookie

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    PK grommets employ woofer shapes at that location. I don't think that was an issue.
     
  44. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I don't think there's a single modern racquet that doesn't have curved grommets at the base of the hoop. 90 degree turns are surely a legacy from the wood era.

    Mikeler - was that WT, the 1.20mm version? If so, that's pretty thin and delicate for the specs of your stick and that string's going to be under alot of stress. I'm not hugely familiar with gut but it seems to have stretched back by a considerable amount - were you stringing it at a very high tension?
     
  45. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    Full MCS? What's that like?
     
  46. Up&comer

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    A fluffy pillow.
     
  47. Ramon

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    All I kept hearing from gut fans was how gut is so great because it keeps its tension and is always playable. After I mentioned that gut was prone to weather conditions and told stories about what I've seen happen, they all seemed to ignore it. Thanks for validating that!

    How come more gut users don't admit to gut's faults? My guess is they are too ashamed to admit they paid all that money for something flawed! :lol:
     
  48. Uvijek Argen

    Uvijek Argen Semi-Pro

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    But Ramon, I live in the same town where Mikeler lives and I played yesterday in the same drizzle that he did with my VS. Today I didnt arrange with anybody and practice my serve(2 baskets) and everything is dandy;-).

    My guess is a mix probably that Mikeler is not use to string full gut and probably kinked and didn't notice and/or a bad batch. Doubt that is the grommets. They look the same like my Bio 200 lite and never had any problem.

    To waste the money with Perfomaxx for that amount better go for Tonic (ball feel), and I put my money that wont happened again.( I understand Mikeler got this set for free, but Im reference for the future if he decide to purchase gut again)
     
  49. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Most likely though was that it was from the bad batch. I sent you those strings...a half year ago? Last spring at least I think. There was a bad batch that went out, and all people who got strings from them had them replaced at no charge. The reason why I think that is looking at your last cross. When you pull tension on this stuff, the coating effectively disappears and the string becomes opaque to translucent like a multifilament. The iffy batch showed that "crackling" of the coating that you see on the bottom cross. Email him about it and I'm fairly certain you'll get a replacement.

    And Uvijek, there really isn't a comparison between this and Tonic. This stuff, likely not surprisingly, looks very similar and plays very similarly to Pacific Prime Gut. Only VS gut (the original, the BT7 plays more like the HT version of WhisperTouch) tops it IMO. Please do realize I am 100% neutral: I stock and string VS Team, Tonic, Klip Legend, Pacific Prime, Pmaxx (Whisper)Touch and Unifibre. Needless to say, I've strung a lot of them, played with a lot of them and can definitely tout the playability of all of them.
     
  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Ah, I actually found the email:

    So yeah, I think that you did indeed get the gummy stuff.
     

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