PV Audio's Playtest Thread

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

  1. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    What type of knot do you use for your tie offs?
     
  2. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Ambivalence. I respect what it may do, but it doesn't matter. I'll shred through my crosses long before any longevity benefits will show themselves. As far as an increase in playability, that may be. Problem is that consistency is the most important thing to me. I've never had a dissatisfied customer, and I've never done a bad stringjob for myself once I got used to stringing. Put simply: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I already do the slow tensioning and holding before clamping anyway, and that's good enough for me. If someone else wants to do it, knock yourself out.
     
  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yo Adam, the review is in the racquets forum.
     
  4. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Same as you, parnell.
     
  5. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    GUUUUUUAH, I got my Thunderblast, Supra Gut and Iontec Black in the mail today. Alas, I shall be out of town until Thursday. I leave for the east coast Tuesday. Perhaps a Tornado/TB and Supra/ITB playtest shall occur this weekend :twisted:
     
  6. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Have a great trip! Enjoy your new toys.
     
  7. tripleWRECK

    tripleWRECK New User

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    Ordered a reel of Scorpion today and a couple sets of B5E for some hybrids. Can't wait!

    pv, have you tried Scorpion and/or B5E in the 40s with any success? Or are they better suited to low 50s.
     
  8. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

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    Pv - just ordered some co focus im going to string it with some gut, gut as main,

    what other strings would you recommend using co focus with?
     
  9. tripleWRECK

    tripleWRECK New User

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    pv, how does Tornado compare to B5E and Scorpion?
     
  10. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

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    tornado - main string, not a cross - has alot of spin, control good tension stability, ok feel, not that powerful but more powerful than other 2, durability avaerage i say.

    scorpion - great as a cross other strings slide on2 this string very well, its a very good all rounder - amazing control, tension, feel ,durability, comfort, ok is spin and power

    B5E - never played with this -
     
  11. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Just had first hit with Mamba Supra / Iontec Black 1.20 at 53/48. Will post pics and intro review later today.
     
  12. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    SP Tornado 1.23mm / WC Explosiv! 1.30mm

    SP Tornado 1.23mm / WC Explosiv! 1.30mm

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stringing: Yes, the L-Tec was so "not me" that I didn't even want to practice with it. So instead, I shall be trying this as my summer setup (have nearly full reels of both strings vs. only a few sets of Xcel FO). Since I already liked Tornado for its responsiveness, all that was left was the cross. Heard that Explosiv! gives a good crisp feel as a cross, so here we are! Explosiv! is just ridiculously easy to string, but since it's thick, good luck getting it through double blocked grommets without trimming significantly. Thankfully, this racquet has none. Strung 52/56lbs.

    Groundstrokes: This is a solid setup off the ground. Unfortunately, the Explosiv takes too much away of the poly feel for it to really be beneficial. So, while a good stringbed overall, the crosses here just mute the mains. This is coupled with the fact that the mains are so enormous and gummy that spin is hampered.
    Overall: 8.75/10

    Serves: Very nice pop on flats, but spin suffers for seconds. Would not use again since I use my serve heavily.
    Overall: 8/10

    Volleys: I wish I could say that there was good feel here, but there unfortunately isn't. Just more muted poly.
    Overall: 8/10

    Durability: Total of four hours on this guy and the crosses are already ready to go. Surprised that they haven't popped yet honestly. As always, the Tornado is holding like a dam. Still, the playability doesn't make it worth it.
    Overall: 9/10

    Not what I was looking for at all, so I won't waste more time. Explosiv does not make a good cross string, regardless of what I had read. It's just too thick, soft and mushy to be used with a responsive poly like Tornado. Pass.


    Overall: 8.75/10
     
  13. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Let the controversy begin again.

    L-Tec 3S 17 / L-Tec Gut 17

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    [​IMG]

    Stringing: Alas, the final L-Tec test from PV Audio (whatever my opinion is worth!). Strung easily, the 3S is moderately stiff, but nothing outrageous. If I closed my eyes, I wouldn't be able to tell that the "Gut" is not Wilson NXT. It has that same lumpy kind of feel to it. Will see this afternoon if this hybrid is any good, but already, this is a no-lose game for the L-Tec diehards. If I like it, as in it's ungodly, then they win. If I don't like it, then it wasn't the right hybrid, right tension, wrong stringing method, wrong racquet, wrong playing style, etc. Whatever, I'm here to test strings and not Area 51 claims. Strung 48/52.5

    Groundstrokes: 3S is actually quite a nice poly. It's obviously stiff, but nonetheless is very resilient. While the "gut" is about as far from natural gut as it gets, it still softens the stringbed more than any cross string I've ever used. Yes, even VS gut doesn't damp the stringbed more. However, that's not a good thing. The strings become very mushy feeling and don't really do 3S justice (I'm assuming). Having hit with what I'm fairly sure is a similar string (I'll save names here), I'm pretty confident that in a full bed, 3S would be quite nice. With the L-Tec "gut"? Er, no.
    Overall: 9.15/10

    Serves: Same story here. If you line up your serves well, you'll get good results. There is no feedback, however, to tell you if you've done that or not. Since that feedback is very important to me, I can't say this is a good stringbed for servers.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    Volleys: Breaking the record player again. Just too much muted feel from the crosses to give what I'm sure is actually a high-feel poly its due. I'm actually quite curious as to how this would play with say OGSM or something fairly neutral.
    Overall: 8.75/10

    Durability: The 3S is holding tension really rather well. It's at something like 5-6hrs of play time now, with a few weeks of bag time (as per my usual review schedule). As I commented about before, the "gut" feels very firm to the hand, but plays like mashed potatoes. The latter shows itself in durability as once the outer coating wore off, it's started to peel. Not a frayer for sure, but one of the peeling multis.
    Overall: 9/10

    I did actually like this setup. It was hampered by too much softness from the crosses, but the mains were definitely responsive which is what I like. Would I go to it again? No, because there are other polys and crosses that I still much prefer over it. But to give it its due share, if you're a medium level player looking for something to just bash around from the baseline and tend to get TE, then I can see that this might work well for you. Not shabby at all.


    Overall: 9.05/10
     
  14. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I had mentioned that I'd string BHBR/MCS. Won't bother with that review. Very similar to the Tornado/Explosiv in that it just removes everything good about the poly and replaces it with mush.
     
  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I love me some mush!
     
  16. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Mamba Supra Gut 17g / Discho Iontec Black 1.20mm

    Mamba Supra Gut 17g / Discho Iontec Black 1.20mm

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stringing: Whew. This is one of the "budget" guts, so as expected, stringing ease is not top of the charts. it's also inconsistent along its gauge. I measured it at an average of 1.32mm unstrung. The tips were honestly the hardest part to work with because they are hardened somehow (perhaps to make it easier to pass through grommets), but they're extra thick and are slightly flattened. I measured them at 1.59mm. You can see how thick the gut is in the image below:

    [​IMG]

    As is expected with the more inexpensive natural guts, the coating does not help you string much. It is also very dry and stiff, which makes it extremely easy to kink and get caught. Manual prestretch recommended (which I did not do).

    However, with that said, it is far easier than any of the other "inconsistent" guts out there. Iontec Black, on the other hand, is incredibly easy to string. The gut is so rough, however, that the crosses don't notch but instead don't slide easily into place while tensioning. This means that if you don't have the strings grid straight before you move on, by the end, you'll have an uneven stringbed. It's no Performaxx, but at the same time, is less expensive and doesn't claim to be anything but a budget gut. Strung 53/48lbs.

    Groundstrokes: I really, really like this setup. It gives you what all natural gut main setups give you: extra chances. You can hit shots that you cannot hit with any other main string. Extremely low slices, low pick ups, effective squash shots, etc. Groundstrokes are also nice and solid, but the slice is the winner here. Slicing is so, so easy. Supra is not a high powered gut in the slightest. Slightly more lively than Performaxx, but not in the same league as the Babolat or Pacific guts. Spin is less than with Performaxx mains, which I attribute to the extremely thick gauge and extremely rough surface. While I must be honest in that I prefer Performaxx, this is easily the best of the "cheap" guts that I've tried. Iontec Black crosses with it perfectly.
    Overall: 9.25/10

    Serves: Very easy power, and very easy spin. Still not quite up there with some of the other gut mains, but this is still pretty juicy. Flats work well, and seconds drop in easily. Also very easy to generate good angles because you've got extra spin at your disposal to help the ball get over the higher part of the net.
    Overall: 9.25/10

    Volleys: I tried Supra primarily because it is sheep gut. Having read that it provides the most amount of feel that you can get, I have to say that I was underwhelmed. There is not as much feel as VS or Pacific gut, and is similar to Performaxx in this regard. It does however, give a more gut-like feel than the Pmaxx in that it feels firm when you want it, but lets the ball sink when you want to take pace off. Volleys are straightforward, and I like that.
    Overall: 9/10

    Durability: Although this is a thick gauge and I only hit for an hour, it's already starting to fray slightly. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Iontec will die right around the time that the gut breaks. Luckily, it doesn't seem like a gut that is going to break in the bag. That said, I wouldn't recommend leaving it in your trunk to test my theory.
    Overall: 9/10

    This is a good, all around gut mains stringbed. While the gut itself is stiff and hard to work with, it's not impossible if you're patient. Would I choose to buy this over Performaxx? No, no contest. Iontec Black, however, is quite sensational. I am going to try using the other half set of the ITb with Pmaxx mains and will compare and contrast tomorrow. This should be interesting. In the mean time, a very nice setup from Mamba for very little money.


    Overall: 9.3/10
     
  17. PigPen

    PigPen Rookie

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    PVAudio,

    Another great review. How do you feel PMaxx WhisperTouch compares with PMaxx Classic and Pacific Classic?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I have not tried the Performaxx Classic line yet, but I'd choose WT over Pacific Classic any day. Only Prime Gut tops it in my opinion. I don't think it's a coincidence that they're visually extremely similar either. I've always wanted a touch more liveliness from the WhisperTouch, and perhaps the Classic series gives that. I'll have to check and see if I want to carry that also.
     
  19. heartattack

    heartattack Semi-Pro

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    hey PV, does it has a puck sound with supra/itB? thanks!
     
  20. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    So Mamba Supra is dry and stiff to the hands too? Just like their Premium gut. Aside from the slight inconvenience of stringing a dry and stiff gut, I'm happy with it once it's in the frame.

    And for $15, I'm not going to complain, haha.
     
  21. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yup. My hitting partner was even commenting about that today. It's not the poly "crack" sound. It's a "thwock" sound.
     
  22. heartattack

    heartattack Semi-Pro

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    cool. what do you think about supra @ 54lbs main & itB 52lbs cross `PV?
     
  23. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Hey PV, I've got some Klip Legend Gut 17 and if I wanted to do a gut(main)/poly(Hyperion 17) cross, what tension should I be stringing at? I'm quite happy with my current hybrid tension listed below in my sig. I get lots of topspin out of it and I play on clay at sea level. Thank you.
     
  24. PigPen

    PigPen Rookie

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    Thanks. Anxiouslyawaiting the pmaxx/iontec review,
     
  25. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I shall review it once I get settled in my summer residence. :)
     
  26. PigPen

    PigPen Rookie

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    Let's all help PV move so he can get to the important stuff :)
     
  27. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Woah-- those pictures are a bit unsettling. Gaucho and even Titan never looked like that. I'm almost scared to open up a premium set I have.
     
  28. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    It's no slouch. However, I cannot imagine what the 15L looks like as that's the 17g. Nonetheless, it does play better than all other "strandy" guts.
     
  29. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    I wish I could have a better camera-- I'll try to take some pics of one of my older radicals with Gaucho in it. Doesn't quite look like that. I may or may not string my other yonex with a mamba gut/ iontec hybrid we'll see.
     
  30. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    PV, wondering if you could compare Ionotec and b5e or scorpion.
     
  31. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Although I don't agree with Torres on the whole, B5E is one-dimensional compared to Iontec and Scorpion. The latter two can do everything well, and better than most. If you want more control, go Scorpion. If you want feel, go Iontec. That's really all that separates them. For me, the extra responsiveness of Scorpion puts it in 1st, but the superb feel of Iontec means it's trying to cut in line for first. Honestly, Iontec seems to be of the WeissCANNON family.
     
  32. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Cool. I'll have to try it out sometime.
     
  33. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    If it feels like it belongs in the Weiss Cannon family, that says enough for me. Bad_Call told me Iontec feels very soft. Do you have the same opinion?
     
  34. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    I don't think so. The string itself is physically pretty hard-- It's responsive but very comfortable imo

    I would consider Sonic Pro to be a "soft" poly
     
  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    So it feels stiff in hand but not in the racket. That is interesting but sometimes strings behave that way.
     
  36. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    How would you compare ItB and Scorpion in terms of spin? For me a full bed ItB has plenty of spin and am wondering if Scorpion has enough spin because I found Silverstring lacking in that respect.
     
  37. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yes, Silverstring is like a multi compared to either of the above in terms of spin. For some reason, SS just doesn't create the RPMs you want. Iontec and Scorpion are about the same, with the salmon 1.25 being about the same as the black 1.20 (likely as the former plays slightly stiffer).
     
  38. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    SS is my favorite string except for that stupid lack of spin part, thereby making the string mostly unuseable for those addicted to spin.

    IMO it is the flat player's poly grail.
     
  39. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    ^^^I find it superb for serving and volleying.
     
  40. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That's actually agreeing with me. I've always said that B5E offers a teriffic amount of 'grab' on the ball and spins the ball very well. I love the slices you can hit with it - you really knife the ball through the court. But its stiff, dead feeling, offers very little 'give' to the string bed, offers very little adjustability, and is low powered. If anyone's game is built around spin, slice or dice, they may like it, but for everyone else, its very one dimensional in its characteristics IMO. It's a grinder's string in my view, for someone whose wins are based on high percentages.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  41. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I don't know why a 'flat hitter' would want an even flatter hitting string.
     
  42. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I just tried the salmon today at 44/42 and I was hitting it out of the park. What tension are you using?
     
  43. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I just used it today, very soft at 44/42 and I was long with it all night. I need to change the tension.
     
  44. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Thats a pretty high rating from you. I agree with everything you said execpt it is recommended by G&G to be strung around 44lbs. I am playing with it at 40/38 which is perfect for me as I am that medium level player you talk about. The control for me is fantastic and I was nailing it down the lines today. The other team decided to nail me at the net hitting the ball at me as hard as they could and I punched every one back with precision. The feel is a little muted especially compared to the OS/4S which has that crisp feel I like. I keep going back between the two. I am going through Mamba right now and Ray gave me a suggestion on duplicating the OS/4S but so far I don't have the tension right so as of yet it is not a good comparison. There is some raving going on about the Iontec but at 44/42 it is to low.
     
  45. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I did like the 3S. It felt nice and crisp.

    As for the Iontec, I don't know what frame you're using. I'd ask Ray for specificity, but I believe I did 46/46.
     
  46. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I am using the Pro Kennex 5G classic which feels flexible even though it is rated around 65. It feels more like 60-62. I have seen this question before and I would like to know how the frame or the flex makes a difference? Would you give me some suggestions so I can do a better job for my customers.

    How did the Iontec compare to the 3S/gut to you?

    Have you tried the OS/4S? I would think you would really like that setup.

    BTW why are you stringing the crosses higher then the mains?

    Thanks
     
  47. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Of course he didn't try it. That would be the most common rec. set up by the experts, so why try that one?
     
  48. Doubles

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    Kiteboard at his finest right here.
     
  49. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    What do you like better OS/4S or 4S/Os and where do you see the difference. What tension?
     
  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I can't compare Iontec to the 3S hybrid since it's full poly. Unfortunately, I did not try OS/4S. I tested those strings given to me, and these were the two recommended hybrids from GG that I could make out of the four strings given me (I couldve done 5S/3S, but Pro/Gut is not a rec. hybrid while 3S/gut is). As I already know what I like and it costs a fraction of those, I'm going to stick with what I've got. I can get gut mains, Iontec Black crosses for less than the L-Tec poly hybrid. As it is, it's no coincidence that most reviews in here are hybrids. I prefer that feel, hence my comment about not preferring poly hybrids. I always tension the softer string a bit higher to try to get a more uniform string bed stiffness, coupled with the fact that they'll lose tension over the course of stringing.
     

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