PV Audio's Playtest Thread

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

  1. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Any update?
     
  2. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    What has been your favorite setup so far? And do you find more spin with gut in the mains or crosses
     
  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Didn't get to play yet. Will update this week.
     
  4. The Big Kahuna

    The Big Kahuna Semi-Pro

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    I second that. Very curious to see how the L-TEC Premium 4S plays with a natural gut main - especially in my Prince EXO3 Tour 16x18.

    There is a lot of interesting posts on the L-TEC string.
     
  5. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    +1 to gut main/LTEC 4S cross

    Also would like to see LTEC hybrid Black 5S or 3S with LTEC "premium gut" crosses.
     
  6. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Unless someone sends me some 4S, going to have to wait on that one. And when I do get it, it's definitely NOT going to be used as a cross string. I want to see what its feel is about.
     
  7. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Signum Pro Tornado 1.23 / Babolat Xcel French Open 17g

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    Stringing: Tornado was the first string I playtested in this thread, and I never tried it again at proper tension. So, once again we have Tornado crossed with a premium multifilament (NRG2 before, for those who did not see post 1). Tornado is still dastardly to string. People on here complain about BHBR a lot. Personally, I think Tornado is a step and a yard beyond as far as stringing goes. Xcel FO strings up almost exactly like Genesis Thunderblast except a bit stiffer, but flimsier. What does that mean? In the hand, it feels stiffer just slightly, so it doesn't glide through the stringbed as easily given the method I use. To be honest, however, it makes NRG2 look like a syn gut in comparison as far as stringing ease goes. The flimsiness is when getting through blocked holes. It has that familiar stringy multifilament construction like Thunderblast does unlike the soft and gummy type like Maxim Touch, NRG2, or really any natural colored multi aside from Tourna Gut. Regardless, crosses were still a breeze, and Tornado is still obnoxious. Small side note: I am not sure if Xcel is available in reel form, but if it is, that'd make it easier. Babolat winds their sets up in such small circles that the coil memory makes it easy for the string to get caught on everything from the machine, the racquet handle, even your watch! Strung at 50/54.5 lbs.

    Note: someone asked me about my tensions. No, I do not arbitrarily pick tensions out of the air. I use an educated guess based on what I've heard the string is similar to and how to get the most out of it. That's why you'll see generally low 50s to high 40s for my poly, mid 50s for my multi and low 50s for my natural gut. +/- variances there are just me being quirky.

    Groundstrokes: This is a great baseliner's setup. This particular combination has a very unique, very uncanny feel to it. It's incredibly crisp to the point of being responsive from the baseline. I cannot explain the feeling, but instead of it being soft, stiff or mushy, it's just...responsive. I guess you could say that it gives you a large amount of feedback depending on the shot that you hit. A topspin shot feels very different from a backhand slice, a drop shot or even a pickup ball. Very unique. Note that I have not said that it's perfect. The spin is good, but not chart topping, and the power is middle of the road as well. Control is above average, however, so this would be a good all court setup.
    Overall: 9/10

    Serves: Very nice on serves. You get and appreciate that same feedback even more when serving. With this comes either an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you are and how you think about it. Because this is a very loud stringbed, it is very easy, and I mean VERY easy to tell what sort of action was just put on the ball. Flat serves will give you a nice cannon sound, slice serves sound like a grating noise and topspin/kick sound like you're scraping across the strings. I say that this is good because it lets you know what sort of response to expect when the ball lands. For this same reason, if your opponent notices such things, you've already lost an advantage. Either way, good for serving.
    Overall: 9/10

    Volleys: Nothing spectacular here, feels simply like softened poly mains. Would not choose for a doubles player, but there are no issues when playing at the net or with overheads.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    Durability: As you can likely imagine, the Tornado is fine. The Xcel, however, is becoming shredded quickly. This is a problem for spin production as the mains no longer snap back. There is simply far too much friction once the black coating wears off the Xcel. Nonetheless, it's completely linear. Played the same yesterday as the day I strung it.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    I'm going to give this an overall rating higher than any of the individual ratings. I do so because it's truly quite nice to hit with. It's a very responsive setup and would suit an all-court player. Baseline bashers should look elsewhere, strangely. I'd recommend it for someone with a very complete game all around who is not afraid to venture to the net when needed or wanted, or to someone who likes to play shorter points from the baseline.


    Overall: 9.25/10
     
  8. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Solinco Tour Bite 18g / Genesis Thunderblast 16g

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    Stringing: Tour Bite 18 really isn't that bad to string. It's not much fun to weave due to its texture, but in the mains, it's as easy as any other soft stringing poly. Thunderblast was pie just like last time. Ultra soft stringing multifilament, no friction burn, knots easily. Strung 51/54 lbs.

    Groundstrokes: If you've never hit with Tour Bite, you simply owe it to yourself to try it. It's easily a top 5 spin producing string and it also creates an insane amount of power. Unlike other spin polys, the "edges" don't wear off since Tour Bite is a square profile. That means that you get a rough stringbed which is also quite slippery against any cross. In this case, ThunderBlast fit well. It leaves the prerequisite black marks on the balls, and flattening out shots is fairly easy. Control is below average, however, due to the power. This setup has an Achilles heel, however, but off the ground, it's very solid.
    Overall: 9.25/10

    Serves: Where to start?! Best serving stringbed I've ever used, without a shadow of a doubt. That means a lot to me since I use my serve very meticulously. Due to my injury, I cannot serve above even 75% on any given day. It just depends on how my arm is that day. Yesterday was one of those days. This past Saturday, however, was not. As remarked earlier in this thread, the sound this makes when hitting solid serves literally generates responses from fellow players. Since it is so easy to serve with, when one of the off-shoulder days arrives, I could still serve offensively without worrying about it being a floater or going long. Oddly, this leads me right into the absolute worst downfall of any stringbed tested in my life: the next section.
    Overall: 10/10

    Volleys: Let me put this succinctly: there is zero feel and control beyond the service line. I am not kidding you, I likely hit 8 volleys and 4 overheads long when I first tried this stuff, and that didn't change after a few hours. This is uncontrollable at the net. While you can dial down your effort, trying to volley or hit touch shots with this much power is a waste of time. Even simple putaway volleys tend to make you cringe as they land on the baseline or sideline. I've never experienced this before. It's almost like the strings are saying "hey now, what are you doing at the net?" Because of this monumental let down, this gets the worst rating in this thread for a simple reason: the best serving setup that happens to be the worst volleying setup deserves zero praise overall. You can imagine why.
    Overall: 3/10

    Durability: While it's not Signum Pro or WC as far as tension stability, Tour Bite holds up well. Thunderblast is remarkably durable given how much it appears to be worn. I would say therefore that you could get a very good amount of time out of these strings.
    Overall: 9/10

    To date, Volkl Cyclone's paradigm shift in performance after it dies was the worst letdown in this whole thread. Seeing my serves come in with so much heat only to literally BLAST a putaway volley 3 feet deep...time and time again...takes the cake. Perhaps it's the 18g, I don't know. I have some 16L which is the most popular, so perhaps I will try that with Xcel FO (out of Thunderblast) or NXT 16. Either way, as someone who loves to serve and needs a solid serve to set up points, I can't have my setup let me down when I come in to finish the point. I would blame it on bad technique, except that upon switching to the Tornado stringbed, the volleys were back on point every time. Such a shame. However, if you don't play like this and stay at the baseline, then this is magical.


    Overall:
    7.5/10, all-court and S&V
    9.5/10, baseliner and counterpuncher.
     
  9. Hotrocks

    Hotrocks Rookie

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    Tornado/ Fo vs. Tour bite/TB

    PV- Thanks for getting back to "Tornado". I read both reviews above and have tried Tornado/ThunderBlast....only hit with Tour bite for a short time. Seems TB has quite a following hear. Maybe you should try Tornado/Thundertblast....then compare the two hybirds. Thanks again....enjoy reading your reviews and your description of everything.
     
  10. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    No problem! Unfortunately, I don't have any more Thunderblast. I only had a set that the Depot sent me to demo many moons ago.
     
  11. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Oh well.

    Tour bite makes a phenomenal baseliner's setup. I understand that it is lacking a net, but I personally didn't find it THAT bad at net. It would be maybe a 5.5 or 6.
     
  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Shoot me your address. I'll cut you some sets off the reel. My treat.
     
  13. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Heh thanks Mike, but don't worry about it. I'll use my Xcel for now. :)
     
  14. Hotrocks

    Hotrocks Rookie

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    PV- I have a reel of Tornado, I will send a set your way. And will send a set of ThunderBlast also. I am sure your aware that Signum Pro has new string out called "Firestorm", should be getting a few set's in a week or so, will send a half set so you can try it out! My email is Hotrocksdd@msn.com if interested I can mail these to you, will need address. Thanks......
     
  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I've been using the Big Ace Micro for years as a full set and not kept up much on strings since I was so happy with it. I looked back with a search and couldn't find much you had to say about it recently, but seem to remember you and I agreeing about how good BAM was a couple of years ago. I would have thought it would have beat out hurricane with you, but where does it stand with you these days?
    Guess I need to try out the Weis.
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  16. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Just wondering if you ever did try out the Iontec. I'm interested how it compares to Scorpion.
     
  17. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

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    PV - i know you have tried mosquito and scorpion with other different strings, but have you or will you ever try using mosquito/scorpion at low tensions.

    ive tried this and loved it, amount of spin and control you get, only fault i could give it is on feel - volleys
     
  18. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Iontec is on board for tonight. :)

    I did indeed do Scorpion at low tensions as a cross with gut mains. It's in this thread too. Too mushy, lots of spin, but couldn't put the ball away. A waste, unfortunately.
     
  19. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Sweet. Great timing. :) What's the setup looking like? I suppose Ion/Xcel? I'll be doing gut/Ion if I try it (which will probably depend on your report, since you've played so extensively with Scorp).
     
  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Discho Iontec 1.25mm

    Discho Iontec 1.25mm

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    Stringing: Not a terribly bad string to string. All in all, a fairly middle of the road poly feel. Stiff, but not obnoxiously so. No coil memory to be concerned about, no friction burn at all. With WeissCANNON strings being a 10 on the stringing ease scale and Alien being a 1 (there are worse out there, but I can't think of them off the top of my head), this is probably a 4.5. Basically like any textured/shaped string, but no kinking like twisted ones. Strung 45/45 lbs.
     
  21. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Nice. Looking forward to the play test. Such a unique color (the only other one I've seen close to it is the L-TEC Pro, and I think that may be more of a beige instead of salmon).
     
  22. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Just wanted to say thanks again for a history of good reviews. I come back to this thread time and time again and always get something good out of it :)
     
  23. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Thanks for the support guys! Donations are always welcome :lol:

    Played for an hour with the Iontec. Thus far, it is absolutely fantastic. Given some of the other full polys I've tested, this so far has the most feel by an enormous margin. Spin is above average for a round poly, control is excellent,and there's enough power if you need it. Excellent dwell time as well. You know what it reminds me of? It's a flesh colored 50/50 mix of WC Scorpion and WC Mosquito Bite. Spin and control of Scorpion, feel and power of Mosquito Bite. I am very much impressed, very impressed. Although I lost to say the least, (Justin I know you're reading this :D ) I had that confidence while not in match play to go for shots. I was just making errors during the match portion, so I can't blame that on the string at all.
     
  24. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I strung up a set of ytex quadro black 1.26mm/l-tec 4s tonight in a pt57a at 375g.
     
  25. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    While that's an interesting test kite, what does that have to do with this playtest?
     
  26. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Not surprised at your findings. I've only tested Iontec 1.20 thus far (hybrid with Mantis Comfort Poly at 52/55) and I loved it. I believe it was mad_dog1 that sparked my interest in it. I have picked up Iontec Hexa 1.20, but I'm sure I won't get to it for a while. Anyway, I was really impressed with the string, as well as the company (Mamba). Extremely affordable as well.
     
  27. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Mamba Tennis and Ray seriously have customer service that is second to none. Not even kidding, after not having talked in months, he sent me a Christmas present this December! That's called customer care, I mean seriously.
     
  28. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Ooo, impressive! Do you think it could work as a cross for gut mains, or would it be too powerful and lack durability?
     
  29. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Yeah, they are awesome, specifically Ray. Service is unmatched, and I hope it stays that way! :)
     
  30. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. They seem to understand that it's the little gestures that go along way toward reeling in customers and keeping them. As you know, I don't talk about strings really (hardly ever lol), but I was really impressed with that string. When I saw that you (pv) were testing it, I was curious to see what your impression would be. I wonder what some of the other 'string testers' will think of it. ;-)
     
  31. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I honestly haven't an idea. This isn't one that I would hybrid in the mains, personally. It's not very highly powered; in fact it's a bit less powered than Scorpion. So, I'm not really sure if this would be useful as a cross for gut mains. With that said, I liked Scorpion far less as a cross than as a main or full bed. Full poly is addicting for a few reasons (when you get a good one). My favorite thing though is when after rallying, if you feel the stringbed, it's completely statically charged up. Instead of picking the strings back into place, I love grounding my stringbed after a point when playing full poly :D

    Good lord I'm a nerd....
     
  32. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Hahaha, that's great! It never would have occured to me to do that. Hmm...maybe I'll try one last (I always say that) cross with gut... Most likely will wait till summer unless I don't like returning to gut/Scorp after CoF.
     
  33. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Gut/Scorp is worth a try, no doubt about that!
     
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey can you comment on what you think of Big Ace Micro today with all the new strings?
    thanks,
     
  35. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    It sure is, but I was referring to when I might try the Iontec as a cross. I remember Scorpion as being great, and if it still is, I'll probably wait to try the Iontec till the summer; if I don't like Scorp as much as I remember, I'll try the Iontec sooner. :)
     
  36. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I posted this on, I think, another thread. Tough to keep them all clear so if I'm repeating myself here, my apologies.

    I typically use the hybrid in my signature. I tried Scorpion and it was weird, within an hour, I had elbow pain. After two hitting sessions, had to cut it out, my arm simply did not like Scorpion as a cross.
     
  37. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Gut/scorpion doesn't seem to jive for me as a hybrid. I like both strings individually but as a hybrid it feels to dampened even though in theory it should work. Cofocus does seem to be better as a cross even though it's playability doesn't last that long.
     
  38. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Yeah...I'm worried I may share your experiences upon returning to it... Gut/Scorp was the first gut/poly hybrid I tried, so I'm worried my opinion was skewed.
     
  39. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Come on PV, are you playing too much these days to update me on this?
    How does the BAM compare to the latest polys you are seeing today?
    and of course anyone else who knows BAM as well,
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  40. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I hope he's been playing with that Iontec and has an update coming. :)
     
  41. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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  42. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I don't think that's Raonic's frame. I think that's the poster's frame which looks similar to Raonic's.
     
  43. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. I wouldn't mind another reason for liking Raonic though!
     
  44. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    That's interesting. I think at one point he was using Lux M2. I tried it a year or more ago and the Lux site showed him using it at that time.
     
  45. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Any update on Iontec, PV? :)
     
  46. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I realized that soon after posting. Whew.
     
  47. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I will have one for you today!
     
  48. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    If dropping tension of Scorpion some doesn't work, it'll be between SS, CoF, and maybe Iontec as crosses.

    Thanks, PV!
     
  49. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    Pvaudio, have you tried bhb7 yet?
     
  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Played outdoors today (high 40s). Conditions were slooooooooooooooooow. Hard to make a judgement call from that. Interestingly, I played with one of my friends sticks, and my 2HBH improved immediately. Much lighter than my 4D200T.... Forehand was much worse though.
     

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