PV Audio's Playtest Thread

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

  1. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Please...stop... NO MORE PICTURES. I'm itching just looking at em.


    2000 posts. Congrats!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  2. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Thanks for that nice feedback on durability. I have become somewhat paranoid about the whole dead poly cross thing, so I'll be going full gut until I learn to string and can replace my crosses (or I may stay with gut depending on how it goes).
     
  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I got around 12 hours on it before the fraying annoyed me and I cut it out. One caveat with that number is that my shoulder was not 100% so I was not serving as hard as normal. PPA now has 12 singles sets and 2 doubles sets on it. It has to be close to RIP Control in terms of durability.
     
  4. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Hmm, I'm anticipating one more hour. So irritated it didn't break yesterday :mad:
     
  5. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    You get over it. Especially when you notice the chunks of money restringing takes.
     
  6. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Haha, good point on the cost...
     
  7. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I'm thinking my string costs will likely go up once I start...
     
  8. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    My friend, after 100 pages, do you really think I'm not beyond that? ;) :)
     
  9. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    +1

    10char,yo
     
  10. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    :) Thankfully that seems to be lower on your list than experimenting and providing great info.
     
  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Xcel just hangs on and hangs on and hangs on. Same with Prince Premiere Attack 16. Got 15 sets of singles and 2 sets of dubs on it. It will not yield! Let's see if Mr. Tough Guy Attack can withstand a pair of scissors. :twisted:
     
  12. fortun8son

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    IDK. Maybe you should use Xurons. :twisted:
     
  13. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Today is the first day I'll get to see if it'll die! :evil:

    My faithful Dunlop supplier has given me two more strings to stock: Black Widow 16 and Hexy Fiber 17. Already had Silk 17. :)
     
  14. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I need to take your word on faith: is PPA a good string to have on stock for multifilament users or cross users? I ask because I don't want to miss a good deal on some.
     
  15. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    I've got some coming Wednesday (don't tell Mike). I'll be able to tell you then.
     
  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure about cross users. Think it is probably up there with Xcel as best multi in a full job.
     
  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Sweet. Think you'll like it.
     
  18. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I know the deal you are referring to--don't take the 16g natural! I'm taking him on faith that it's good full bed.
     
  19. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I only tried white (I guess natural?). Can't speak for other colors.
     
  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Mmmmm yes, the sweet taste of defeat! Xcel FO? Pah!

    [​IMG]

    Deeeeeeeelicious....
    [​IMG]

    A little filament detail:
    [​IMG]

    I honestly think that this is my new go-to setup. I really like how it plays, and it isn't too expensive. I will try out Hexy Fiber and Prince PA (got it in black). Overall though, I think this setup got about 6-7 hours of hitting on it before the crosses went. If it were the regular Xcel w/o the black coating, I bet it'd be much less time. Regardless, I do rather like the setup a lot. It's extremely linear, easy to string, and looks quite nice. Doesn't feel plasticky unlike some other polys. Very crisp. Not a GOAT setup by any means, make no mistake. Only natural gut can get that title and this obviously is not it. Nonetheless, for a non-gut, poly/multi hybrid, it's my favorite. :)

    Oh, and for those who have forgotten, this was Signum Pro Tornado 1.23 / Babolat Xcel French Open 17g.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  21. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Solinco Barb Wire 16L / WeissCANNON 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.

    NEW:
    Alas, I was right to not hold my breath. Barb Wire has completely changed. While it's still very usable off the ground, once it settled after about 2 hours (TOO LONG), it just feels like generic poly. The MB no longer shines through, and that was the only reason why this was good. Spin? Not anything near earth-shattering or even the other hybrids in here. After settling, I cannot see how this would be better than full Barb Wire.
    Overall: 9.25/10

    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.

    NEW:
    Once again, Mosquito Bite's traits have vanished as the Barb Wire settled in. Pales in comparison to Mosquito Bite in full or hybrid, and Tour Bite for that matter.
    Overall: 8.75/10

    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.

    NEW: Disappointing. The touch that Mosquito Bite gives is what you could feel before, and now that the Barb Wire is settled, you can't feel it anymore. In essence, you're volleying with a slightly softer baseliner's poly.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    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.

    NEW: And here we come to the crux of the matter: longevity. The reason why this setup has gone downhill has nothing to do with notching or breakage. Rather, it's due to Barb Wire not being linear like most German polys (actually, if someone could tell me where Solinco is from, I'd appreciate it. Is it German?). So, after the few hour mark, this falls off the map. I'll go into detail below why that's unacceptable...or at the very least undesirable.
    Overall: 8/10

    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.

    NEW:Barb Wire simply is not Solinco's best offering. What I alluded to above is the following: this setup exhibit's what I call Pro's Syndrome. What this is is the reason why so many professional players use RPM, Luxilon and natural gut crosses: they do not need their racquets to last for any period of time. As you all likely know, pros will either break strings quickly if using hybrids, switch racquets after a few games/a set or even just have them restrung if they haven't even been hit with. They'll use those frames on the practice court for an hour and then send them off to be restrung.

    Since recreational players do not have this flexibility (let alone money to have 6-8 frames of RPM Blast restrung every other day), it is exactly why in my extensive string list, I do not recommend Luxilon or RPM strings ever. I make more money, yes, but I want to be honest with my customers. If they're a higher level player but ignorant to strings, they'll come back dissatisfied because the strings simply went dead incredibly quickly. If they're a lower level player and ignorant about strings, I do not want them to risk injury since these "uber" strings the pros use go dead very quickly. My hybrid here works exactly the same way: this would get you through a match, and you'd think it was outstanding. Unfortunately, over the next hour or so, the performance changes so drastically that you're no longer playing with what you thought was amazing. That is unacceptable for a recreational player who does not restring every few hours. If you're a higher level player and you DO restring before each match, then go ahead and try it. For the majority of us 4.0 and 4.5s, look elsewhere. In the words of fellow TTW member kiteboard:
    Overall: 9.0/10
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I'm going to go through and update my ToC before I string up the next racquet. You can imagine what it will be ;).
     
  23. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I found that barb wire/alu was a damn good hybrid, with great feel and a loud pop sound, but the tens. loss was awful. Great for 1/2hr.
     
  24. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Thread is updated, now it's L-Tec time.
     
  25. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    :lol: I am quoting this and placing it in my review. Thank you for this as it adds credence to my findings.
     
  26. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    You'll like Black Widow. It's a great string-- nothing quite like it. The problem is it pops super quick or it loses tension terribly. Definitely worth a try though. The best comparison I could make is to Black 7. It's a soft string with fantastic spin potential.


    With regard to Barb wire-- it earns its name like you said. It's a particularly wicked string but unfortunately not in a great way. It's stiff, it's miserable to string, and it doesn't hold the properties that bite into the ball. It's unfortunate because I liked Tour Bite and had high expectations for Barb wire
     
  27. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    L-Tec Premium Pro / L-Tec Premium 5S

    L-Tec Premium Pro / L-Tec Premium 5S

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First and foremost: thank you again to jdunnie014159 for supplying all four L-Tec half sets :)

    Stringing: Here are the strings in question:

    Mains: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/L-T...27_String_Beige/descpageACGLORY-LTPPOS16.html

    Crosses (in black which TW does not carry): http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/L-Tec_Premium_5S_16L_125_String/descpageACGLORY-LTP5S16.html

    Now, normally, this section is the most boring part of the review. However, I think that this time it will be the most important part because there are a few issues I want to address. First, the poly handles like any other mid-grade poly when stringing. No coil-memory, no friction, knots easily, etc. No problems there.

    The key here, as you can imagine, is the JET method. I'm actually looking at the instructions right now, and here's what I can tell you: I did NOT use the JET or JayCee or any other stringing method that I do not normally do. This is very important for a few reasons:

    1. This is a string review thread. I am not here to review stringing methods. If I want to test the JET method on a string I'm already familiar with, I will do so later. At the moment, I am reviewing L-Tec polyester strings.

    2. As hinted at above, as I'm scientific with most things, I will not change more than one variable at a time. Here, the variable is the string.

    3. I do not buy into string hype for a multitude of reasons, but in this case, the main issue is arrogance...and not on my part. They insinuate, and I do mean that word, that it takes a select group of stringers to be able to install these strings. That means that no one from **** or Priority 1 is qualified to string L-Tec polyester. That's preposterous, and as said, arrogant. I already string everything at the slowest pull speed, use low tension for polyester and let it settle before clamping. Have been doing that for quite some time for myself and every customer in fact. I've never had anyone dissatisfied with the quality of my stringing.

    4. So, to L-Tec if you're reading this: you can hold off on saying my results are invalid because I did not use JET. If anything, all opinions of your strings using a specific method cannot be taken at face value unless the string is evaluated first when strung normally.

    Now, onto a bit nicer tone: I chose this hybrid because it was part of the string set given to me and because it was recommended:

    I think that's all I have to say about the stringing, but here's cliff notes: this is an objective STRING review. No special stringing methods were used as I have not tried the method previously to see if it favorably changes stringbeds I am already familiar with. Tension: 45/45 lbs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  28. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Can't WAIT to hear this one :)

    PS. I love all the close-ups of the strings that you do. (except the recent FO multi... that gave me the heebie-jeebies)
     
  29. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    This one looks exciting, and your approach is appropriate. You did string a bit lower than usually for full poly, though, right?
     
  30. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i am really looking forward to your findings on the l-tecs. while i am of course interested in the way these strings play, i am also most interested to hear how much hitting time you got out of it.

    my main issue and reluctance with these strings has been, because of the price obviously, that i might not get past 10 hitting hours anyway, which i also get for instance with all my favourite polys so far.
     
  31. Up&comer

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    Can't wait to hear what you think.
     
  32. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That's critical, given the cost of these strings. Apart from the L-Tec shills, the only reputable playtester on these boards who has played with these strings to any extent suggests that he would restring between 6-10 hours to maintain peak performance.
     
  33. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    that is exactly my point - as my son grows up i do not get over ten hitting hours with any string anymore and it seems obvious that the time is going to get even less with each week/month.

    shelling out a truly premium price should be rewarded in my opinion not only with excellent playing characteristics (i have some combos nevertheless i am really happy with for 20% of the l-tec asking price!) but also with some durability. i do doubt nevertheless that with my heavy topspin playing style i would get to a reasonable amount of time.
     
  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I will never be using the Jet method either, so I'm more interested in how these strings perform with normal stringing.
     
  35. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    I tried the 4S as a cross for Wilson Nat Gut using JET and only got about 4-5 hours of peak performance. At some point during hour 5 my shoulder started bothering me too.

    I tried it at 43-41, 49-47, and 53-51. Best performance was at 49-47 but after 3 hrs it started down hill quickly.

    I am a bit intrigued with the JET technique though. I am trying it now with my usual set up (sig), but at 53-51. It does seem to add some feel and control to the string bed, but it did not need to be strung the 7-10lbs below my usual set up.
    In fact my next string job I'll try it at 54-52 just like I do using my own process.

    Also, I agree with the above about trying L-tec and what ever process you usually use. I was going to do that and let myself get talked out of it and went with the tensions noted above. After three string jobs I still didn't really know how it compared to my usual set up.
     
  36. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Nope, I strung exactly the same as Iontec. :)
     
  37. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Well this is interesting. I haven't hit with them yet, but I have noticed something that I've never noticed with any other string. Before I put a racquet away, I always hit the stringbed against the heel of my palm (habit, just to see how "solid" it is and to see what sort of sound it makes). Normally it's just a thunk or a thud, or with full poly, that pink/ping sound that people use dampeners to remove. Here though, the stringbed resonated. For those non-audio inclined, it was like hitting a tuning fork. The stringbed just kept humming until I damped it with my palm again. I have honestly never heard anything like this before in my life :confused:
     
  38. Up&comer

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    Weird. Cool, but weird.
     
  39. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    EVerything vibrates. That's how force is transmitted: through vibration. All molecules are constantly vibrating. The perfect string job resonates like no other. The ball is controlled exactly well. I've tried the os/4s (control), the 5s/3s (powered spin), 4s/os, vs/4s, etc. Control is best with the os/4s, but the power is muted. Feels interesting. Even with perimeter strings up, the tens. loss still occurred at a fairly normal rate. I like the ytex strings far more, mixed with bhb7 in cross. Great controlled spin with quadro/bhb7.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  40. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Know what else resonates? Cracked grommets and damaged frames. Make sure to double check the frame.

    Keep up the good work PV
     
  41. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Indeed they do, which is why I installed it in the frame with the least play time and stringing time. Frame is a-ok.

    And kiteboard, yes everything vibrates but does not resonate at any given situation. It's like the stringbed's fundamental frequency is the resonant frequency of the frame. I've strung 45lbs before in this racquet, but have never heard anything like this. And since the frame isn't damaged, I'm curious to see if this translates to anything on-court.
     
  42. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Dang, I thought you'd done that one at 47/47. Okay, cool. This is going to be a great test. And that resonance thing is odd...
     
  43. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Even a house has a resonant frequency. Talk to Tesla about that, when he almost destroyed one with a coil. I miss Tesla.
     
  44. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Yes, everything does have a resonance frequency theoretically, but it's just odd that this is the first time his racquet has vibrated like that.
     
  45. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I didn't say that. I said what mixed media did: it has never resonated when strung before. Trust me, as an engineer, and someone who builds loudspeakers (hence my username), I know all about resonance :)

    And yes, I'm familiar with Tesla's oscillator, and no, you're not old enough to miss him :lol:
     
  46. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Anyway, back to tennis. The L-Tec frame has about an hour and a half under its belt, and just.....wow. If GM had hired L-Tec's advertisers, they wouldn't have ended up bankrupt. This setup is not even remotely special. No extra spin, no extra feel, no extra power, no extra control. It's simply poly. Good poly, yes, but it just feels like generic co-poly. Actually, the whole stringbed feels exactly like a full bed of Polyfibre Black Venom.
     
  47. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Sorry, I think I missed something somewhere (I too thought you said it was resonating)... Anyway, as you said, back to tennis.
     
  48. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Well, I can't say that I am surprised...
     
  49. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Just out of curiosity, will you try the JET method with a string you know well and with L-TEC?
     
  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    A string I know well? Perhaps. With L-Tec? No, simply because I only have one more hybrid. Honestly I just want to cut it out and put in Tornado/Xcel. Unless it needs time to settle in, I don't even care if it lasts for 30 hours because it's not even that good. Let me put it like this: every poly tested in this thread is better than the L-Tec with the exception of the Wilson Blue string which was garbage. Actually, no. You know what this reminds me of almost exactly? A tan/black hybrid of MSV CoFocus. That's EXACTLY what it feels like.
     

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