PV Audio's Playtest Thread

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

  1. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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  2. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Tourna Big Hitter Black 7

    Tourna Big Hitter Black 7

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stringing: Not bad. As far as textured polys go, this doesn't have that kinking memory. It is, however, rather sharp. In that regard, it reminds me very much of Polyfibre Hexablade. It's got that feeling that if you're not careful, you may cut your fingertips. Luckily, that didn't happen. Strung in full as shown, tension of 47/47.

    Groundstrokes: This is a fantastic baseliner's poly string. It has a very, very unique feel to it that lets you know that you are generating spin. While not as much as it's blue brother, BHBR, it is still well above average. This is a baseliner's poly for those with high RHS and who employ a slice. While slices do tend to float more than with other spin polys (even for a large amount of pace, you tend to get more RPMs than you expect), this same feature is great for those with large forehands and backhands. It lets you hit heavier shots than your stroke would otherwise produce. I do not mean more spin: I mean heavy. I define heavy as the intersection of pace and spin whereby the speed of the ball appears to be amplified as it loses little speed upon bouncing. Some strings create spin which tends to have the ball float (i.e. Spiky Shark, Cyclone, Blue Gear). There are then those select few which create the heavy spin I am describing (BHBR, Tour Bite, Barb Wire). BHB7 falls into the latter category, coming second only to Tour Bite in this aspect. Tour Bite's downfall is where BHBR and not surprisingly BHB7 take the step ahead: they only impart the spin when you desire. In short, this is a poly for the baseliner or all-court player who is able to control what sort of action they want to put on the ball.
    Overall: 9.5/10

    Serves: If you hit flat first serves, then please continue on to the volleys section. If, however, you employ spin on all serves, then continue as this may be the string for you. I never was without pace with this string. More importantly, it produced incredibly heavy serves. If you put the ball within a foot of either the T or the sideline, it will kick off the court and make the serve seemingly faster. I typically hit first serves in the low 100s since I rarely serve flat anymore. I did hit a flat serve or two while testing, and it really wasn't my cup of tea. Then again, you likely wouldn't be using this if all you do is bomb flat serves with full polyester. So for me, this string fit my serving needs. It does fall short in power compared to BHBR and other similar strings which shine on serves. If this had a bit more pop along with the action it produces, it'd be a lethal combination.
    Overall: 8.75/10

    Volleys: Not much feel at the net, unfortunately. You rarely get a "solid" feel when blocking back hard shots and the lack of power makes reaching volleys more difficult. It does, however, allow you to hit great mid-court pickups or half volleys that are difficult to return. Unfortunately for me though, I just didn't have the confidence I like when up at the net.
    Overall: 8/10

    Durability: So far so good. Strings are still aligned with the crosses moving slightly. These shaped strings in particular (twisted ones don't suffer as much) tend to wear down their sharp edges over time. I didn't see that here, but then again, I haven't played it until death.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    I am not a full polyester player anymore by any means. I do, however, appreciate a good poly when it comes along. I think this could be an astounding string if used in a hybrid with a lively multi. Gut here would be a waste (you don't often hear me say that) since it'd be shredded as the string is sharp, but doesn't notch. Syn gut would simply soften the stringbed, but this is soft already. What I'd cross it with is a 16g lively multi with fairly good tension stability. I will try next (if I can get another set) with Thunderblast crosses and can then compare head-head with B5E.


    Overall: 9.15/10
     
  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Definitely would like to hear comparisons with B5E/Thunder Blast.
     
  4. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I'm def doing the JET w/ a WC poly since I know them best. I MAY have some Ltec on the way via a TTW collaborator :)
     
  5. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Finally someone who might be able to compare L-tec to some strings people have heard of.
     
  6. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    as i consider ordering a BHB7 reel to mix with my Thunderblast reel, i'll be happy to know when will you test it.

    thanks.
     
  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Good, now I don't have to buy you a set.
     
  8. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I didn't see one on the Iontec. :-(

    But I'm glad to hear about the JET test and possible L-TEC stuff. :)
     
  9. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    One more outing with the Iontec. Shoulder was being stupid tonight.
     
  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'm fortunate that I only had a minor shoulder problem last year. I know it is too late for you, but the rotator cuff exercises have completely solved my problems from last year and I will continue them in my weight lifting regiment.
     
  11. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Hey Mikeler, please send me a link to your rotator cuff exercises. Thanks.
     
  12. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Nice post on the BHB7. That's probably going to be my next-next test once I pop my original "Jet" setup (getting close now). Then, I have 2 b5e's to pop 16x19 and an 18x20 THEN I can start testing new stuff ugh... so many frames so little time.
     
  13. mberrevoets

    mberrevoets New User

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    Don't take this the wrong way but I don't think you should be commenting on the strings flat serve performance after hitting only attempting a couple. great review still, convinced me to buy a reel.
     
  14. mberrevoets

    mberrevoets New User

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    Never mind, I think I misread your comments. I apologize.
     
  15. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    @ PV Audio:

    How many hours are you usually getting with a Gut/Poly hybrid and are you having any problems with the poly going dead before the gut breaks?

    I'm thinking of trying the following strings out, can you tell me if any of the following lasts less than 10hours before going dead? (assuming your strings don't break first) Thanks.

    Black5Edge
    Scorpion
    BHB7
    BHBR
     
  16. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    With gut mains, the poly always goes dead before the gut breaks. Even with gut crosses, it's still playable. I have an AG100 strung B5E/gut which I took out yesterday to fool around with. My hitting partner hit with it, and keep in mind, he hits a serious ball. I didn't tell him that the strings were first installed in, and I'm not joking: June. I switched racquets in July, and last strung B5E/gut in an AG100 towards the end of June 2011. The gut is very frayed, but the natural gut keeps the playability high. This is why I've said that even natural gut crosses are not a waste. You would not be able to do that with even a multi let alone a syn gut.
     
  17. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Listen to this guy.
     
  18. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    cool...Iontec 1.25 is my favorite string. i've raved about it and have been enjoying its awesome feel and control for quite some time now. so much that i'm already on my 3 reel. the ball pocketing is just stupendous.
     
  19. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    My good man, how much string do you go through if you're on your third reel of a string that has not been out for very long?
     
  20. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the review on BHB7! i'm gonna try a full bed of this stuff soon.

    i had BHB7 in the mains hybrid'd w/ BHBR crosses and after ~3 hrs the mains had worn halfway through when i cut out the strings because they were dead. if the strings were still good, i'm guessing i might have gotten 4 hrs out before BHB7 before it broke.

    also spin production had dropped significantly after 2.5 hrs because the sharp edges had been worn down.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  21. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    now after i made my peace, PV,
    can you tell me the differences between BHB7,
    and the Iontec mentioned above?
     
  22. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    well...i string for the guys i hit w/ as well. but having said that, i'm sure i'm responsible for consuming at least 1.25 reels of the stuff. :mrgreen:

    my 3rd reel is Iontec Black 1.25. IMHO, Iontec Black is even better than Iontec Salmon. Retains all the goodness of Salmon but feel is improved. I'm not sure how that was possible because feel was stupendously good w/ Salmon already; better than any other poly or copoly i've tried so i didn't think it was possible to improve on that. Highly recommended!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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  24. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Love B5E/gut. Definitely a contender for GOAT setup for this player.
     
  25. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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  26. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    MD1, summary on Iontec Black vs. Hexa?
     
  27. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    My 2 BC20s are currently occupied w/ L-TEC OS/4S and Iontec 1.25 Salmon/Iontec Hexa 1.20 hybrids. Iontec Black 1.25 vs Iontec Hexa 1.25 are on the waitlist. :lol:
     
  28. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Anything to prevent someone from ripping their shoulder apart like I did makes it fine in my book :)
     
  29. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Hmm, everything? They are seriously not remotely similar. Even though they're two control polys, WC Silverstring and WC Scorpion play nothing similar. Then you take a spin, shaped poly vs. a smooth all-around poly and the differences just start to spread.
     
  30. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly and I was answering another question in this thread so technically I only aided and abetted the hijacker.
     
  31. swfh

    swfh Rookie

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    Im can't wait for the results. Get it done quick!:)
     
  32. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    No hurries, man. If you could maybe toss out a comparison to CoF, SS, and Scorp at some point, that'd be awesome! (I know I covered a wide range there, but those are all ones I'm considering.) Dropping the tension to 52 gut/47 Scorp didn't seem to help too much, but maybe it's just because I was already so sore.
     
  33. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Discho Iontec 1.25mm

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    [​IMG]

    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.

    Groundstrokes: Overall, this is a fantastic poly from the baseline. It gives good pop, and good directional control. Interestingly, it does not have anything special or unique about it that sets it apart aside from one thing: dwell time WITH crispness. This poly gives the most dwell time of any I've found thus far. Compared to Black Magic where the ball sinks into the strings because they're so soft, this is far more traditional. It's above average for comfort as well. It seriously reminds me of Scorpion and Mosquito Bite getting freaky and making a salmon colored baby. That's in line with what I said earlier: it feels like a mix of various WC polys. A great all-court poly.
    Overall: 9.5/10

    Serves: Fair, to be honest. Serving with this string isn't particularly amazing. It's not bad either, so let me just say that too. It's just not its best attribute.
    Overall: 8.25/10

    Volleys: The grail. I have yet to find a poly with more feel than Iontec. It seriously feels like a multifilament up at the net, and I am not exaggerating about that. It's so disappointing that it isn't amazing for serves, because if it was, then this would without question be the best overall polyester on the market...and I mean that. It's very hard to find feel when it comes to poly, and this trumps even Mosquito Bite.
    Overall: 10/10

    Durability: Great tension stability here, and zero notching. Good marks.
    Overall: 9/10

    I liked this string, and I am considering stocking it. I do admit that I did NOT pay for this string, as Ray from Mamba Tennis sent it to me along with some others free of charge. When it comes to all-court poly though, this is truly up there with the best: Scorpion, Silverstring, B5E and Pro Hurricane 18 (only the 18g) and perhaps another which is escaping me at the moment are the only polys which I feel can contend with this stuff as an all-courter's string. For a baseline basher, look elsewhere. For a high level doubles player, put something lively in the crosses to get the power up on serves and you will be set for life. For an all courter who doesn't rely on their serve as their main weapon, again, look no further.


    Overall: 9.5/10
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  34. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Thanks for the full review! Any idea how this would do in gut/poly? I think I've asked before but can't remember the answer. Scorpion seems to be a bit hard on my shoulder and forearm (yes, I need to work out some...). Do you think I'd have any luck with this or SS after I play with gut for at least a few weeks?
     
  35. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Oh yeah, I posted it right above. :)
     
  36. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Solinco Barb Wire 16L / WC Mosquito Bite Black Death

    Solinco Barb Wire 16L / WC Mosquito Bite Black Death

    This playtest was inspired by a post by TW University. They posted their newest string spin testing results, and found that the ratio of ball/string friction to string/string friction should be as high as possible. In other words: more ball bite, more string sliding. They found that Barb Wire gave the most ball bite, hence its choice as my main string. That meant that the only other choice for a cross was a smooth polyester. Any synthetic or natural gut would get chewed up by the textured main, and a textured poly, while likely giving an odd spin profile, does not make for predictable spin. Thus, I chose one of my all time favorite strings, which comes in a small gauge, is comfortable and is black like Barb Wire: WeissCANNON Mosquito Bite Black Death.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stringing: I HATE Barb Wire. It's so appropriately named that it defies belief. It is truly in the top 5 worst polys to string, and I really do mean that. If you've ever had trouble with BHBR, then you'll think that your former troubles were like stringing a syn gut. In comparison, I feel that Mosquito Bite is the easiest polyester to string that exists. It's so supple and since it's only 1.16mm, it just glides. If I had to rank my stringing ease for polys, it would be as follows:

    1. WC Mosquito Bite
    2. MSV Co Focus
    3. WC Silverstring

    Strung 47/47.
    Groundstrokes: I have only 1 hour on this setup, and if it has not broken in yet, then my goodness, am I in for a treat. I have yet to find a superior poly stringbed. Mosquito bite is the multifilament of the poly world, in my opinion. It gives great control, average spin, astounding comfort, but above all else, unparalleled feel. That coupled with Barb Wire's innate crispness and the heaviness that is produced by the stringbed and you've got a monster from the baseline. You can simply pick your swing to make the shot you want: high and deep, hard and heavy, short and low, etc. The string takes care of you. I've not found that before. If this continues as the strings age and settle, this will become my grail. Plus, in all black, it looks superbly humble and sinister.
    Overall: 9.x/10

    Serves: Great here too, but since I use my serve heavily and I was not serving above 60% today, I can't give a valid assessment. Power is there, and spin is definitely there. So it's going to be a winner already.
    Overall: 9.x/10

    Volleys: Best poly setup at the net I've found yet. The directional control is simply superb. While the feel is not as high as Iontec, it is not far behind and overheads are superior.
    Overall: 9.x/10

    Durability: The second reason for choosing MB as the cross is because it's WeissCANNON. You can tow a trailer with the stuff and it won't lose tension. Solinco poly, however, doesn't have that same reputation. We'll have to see.
    Overall: x/10

    This is shaping up to be a great, great setup. If this holds, then I will purchase a reel of Mosquito Bite (I already have a reel of Barb Wire since some idiot posted the ad on the Bay in the memorabilia section and it went for a tasty price :D ). I am not holding my breath, having tested Cyclone only to be hugely disappointed. We'll have to see how it lasts and if it starts to notch. If anything, it shouldn't be broken in yet and it's already playing sensationally.


    Overall: 9.x/10

    As you can likely gather, I will update this and fill in my numbers later. For now though, I finally have an updated hitting video which I will post shortly.
     
  37. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Hi PV Audio,

    Sorry to disrupt the flow of this discussion, but a brief question:

    What was the name of the Performaxx gut that was very low powered?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  38. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I'll try to field this one. Performaxx LT is what it sounds like you're referring to. But the HT and XT may be options as well. In what application will it be used?
     
  39. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    MB's the multi of the poly world? I thought ItS was! :p
     
  40. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    And if you email the seller, he may respond and may have a straight answer...
     
  41. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    very nice review. pretty much spot on w/ my experience except on serves, but honestly i'm not qualified to comment on serves because i don't do a lot of it given my shoulder problems. actually, because of my shoulder issues, my serve is about the same regardless of string.

    regarding the price...i've been using Iontec since shortly after Ray launched Mamba and as far as i know the price has remained the same. it was $6.99/set or $69.99/reel at my first checkout and still is. i'd buy it even if it was $100/reel. at $69.99, i think it's a steal.
     
  42. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Thanks. Just in case I need to string a racquet at a low tension and don't want to turn it into a rocket launcher....
     
  43. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    RE: your Iontec 1.25 review. Man, that is freaky. I was going to post my review of Iontec Black (IB) 1.25 at 50lbs in the Mamba thread since I played 2 hours of doubles with it (and also 1 hour of doubles with 0S/4S at 44lbs JayCee), and everything I was going to write, you wrote. I have yet to use a full bed poly that volleys as well as IB. I mean I hit some ridiculous touch, angle and firm volleys for winners tonight. I'm not talking about easy to mediocre volleys. I'm talking about those volleys where you really have to place it almost perfectly or you are gonna eat the ball volleys. I hit some great defensive and offensive lobs as well as volley lobs for winners.

    Even though it's not textured IB gives you plenty of topspin and skidding slices. At 50lbs in 50F weather it was too tight for me to hit winners easily thru the court. I was able to do that better with my 0S/4S setup at 44lbs. I find it easier also to flatten out the ball with 0S/4S. Serving wise 0S/4S is more explosive and you can hit flat and slice serves with more pace. On the other hand I was able to hit better kick serves with IB.

    To compare apples to apples, I'm going to string my IB 44 JayCee when I get my reel on Wed. or Th. I'm hoping it will give me more pop on my serves and groundstrokes without sacrificing control and the unrivaled (by other polys) touch on volleys and lobs.
     
  44. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Oh, you're right. I just checked. I swore it was 119.99 the other day :|
     
  45. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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  46. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    that sounds like the Thunderstrings reel price.
     
  47. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    1. Very whippy forehands
    2. Clean backhands.
    3. I'm so glad someone else hits spin-around volleys :)
     
  48. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    as i said in the 'tips' forum:
    very clean strokes, pretty confident game. i need some of that ;)
    what level are you?

    i should also video myself ASAP hoping not to get disappointed.
    i think the best practical angle of shooting is from the back.
    not necessarily the best looking angle though,
    and i fear this the most :)
    strokes will look slower (like on pro's matches) but that's the most truthful angle in my opinion.
     
  49. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    How low are we talking? Once you get into the 40s, I'd say LT is probably your friend. I may try it full bed just because of the price.
     
  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I actually did shoot from the rear angle as well. Unfortunately, my hitting partner thought that the little red camera sitting there made a great one-bounce target for up the T serves, so he kept bombing it up the middle. Seeing as he's quite good, the camera got blasted like 4x :lol: It was only afterwards toot hat I realized that I was completely off the frame if not 2 feet inside the singles line. Wide angle....yea, right. :)
     

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