PV Audio's Playtest Thread

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

  1. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Nobody will notice if you restring...
     
  2. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

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    what about a technifibre tfight 325, only problem is that its not as headlight as the 95d
     
  3. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    schwartz center does demoes?
     
  4. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Nope, the shop in downtown.
     
  5. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    pvaudio, you are probably going to get a ton of racquet suggestions since you've posted that you are looking. So I'll throw my 2 cents worth of a suggestion to you. How about trying a Volkl PB 10 Mid. It is a 93 sq in head size but plays great. I demoed a lot of racquets before liking anything. This is the one I picked out. Just a suggestion. I figure I'd attempt to pay you back ( with this suggestion) for all the great string info you've posted here.
     
  6. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Mmk, did the Volkl, Speed Pro, and 2012 version of the Wilson 95. On their way!
     
  7. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Oh and the Technifibre
     
  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Even us string guys have to change rackets every now and then.
     
  9. tennisnut09

    tennisnut09 Rookie

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    This thread is going to reach 300 posts. Good job!:)
     
  10. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Beat that mark a long time ago haha.
     
  11. tennisnut09

    tennisnut09 Rookie

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    Ha ha....I meant 300 pages.
     
  12. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    If youre on the standard posts per page there's only 161.
     
  13. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Long story short: the 200T is not for me. Aside from slices, the Prestige MP was simply OUTSTANDING in comparison. My hitting partner remarked that he'd never seen action like I had on my second serves before. That's with an 18x20 frame with synthetic gut strung around the time that stonehenge was erected. I need to restring it with Baseline Spin or something cheap and neutral just to see how it would play if I bought it. I fear this thread has turned into PV Audio's Racquet Playtest Thread :D
     
  14. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Having looked it up, I think the string is actually FXP Tour. It's this black stuff with a clear wrap on it, but it feels so dead.
     
  15. tvu

    tvu New User

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    I was forcing myself to like the 200T but it was just too much work so I'll be sending them back to TW for the trade in program. Just picked up the ProKennex Q-Tour since I have tennis elbow - but I really like it so far. Maybe you give that a shot as well if you are so inclined.
     
  16. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Ugh, I despised Fxp tour.

    On the other hand, having remembered the 95 16x18, I hit with my friends the other day and I can't help but want to switch to it. It feels more solid than my apd but offers a lot of the same things I really like about the apd. Spin, control, and power are there as well as some better touch.
     
  17. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I just got some Heptonic 1.14mm, can't wait to try that!
     
  18. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    heptonic is sweet i have it in my yonex right now
     
  19. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Professional

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    well...you did say that you where done testing strings some time ago. time to move on
     
  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I just love the irony that the moment I decide that the string I like best is the one I first liked best 2 years ago, I decide I want a new stick....so perhaps this thread will reach 300pgs :D
     
  21. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Give the 95D some time, and play with it. I hate to say it but it is string picky. Plays great though. If you liked the 95, I'd suggest giving the Rad Pro a shot-- similar frame (although not quite in your spec wheelhouse).

    Every time I come back to it the Prestiges are a pleasure to play with. You won't be disappointed.
     
  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    The 95D isn't mine to demo, it's rdis10093's. Either way, I like the Prestige with dead string better.
     
  23. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Damn, I popped the string and I had to take it back. I got a Prestige S to replace it until tomorrow.
     
  24. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I want to try the Prestige Pro as well. Hmm, so many choices...
     
  25. ewberner

    ewberner Rookie

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    Why not try the Dunlop 200s? 4D or Bio...

    I mean you like the feel the the 200 tour and this would be a little lighter than that. Owning both, I can say I don't feel a loss of spin production from one to the other.
     
  26. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    True story: I tried the 4D200 years ago as I was playing with the AG200 and wanted to get a new frame. I played with the 4D200 and the AG100 that day. Within 5 minutes, I put down the 4D200 and never picked it up again because it felt like poplar. I have since confirmed the difference between the Tour and the standard and I truly do not like the feel of the new 200s. That's doubly sad to me because I started with the Muscle Weave 200 yeaaars ago in like 7th grade, and then got the HM200G and so on.
     
  27. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Racquets are in, and straight away, I regret doing poly demos vs. multi. The poly in all but the Tecnifibre is completely dead, and in the Tecnifibre, it's notched to hell. Oh well, that's why one buys a reel of Isospeed Baseline Spin :D
     
  28. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    the good folks at tw said that babolat no longer has any plans to make revenge 17. I only have two sets left, and I am afraid to use them now. sadly I love this string even more thatn adrenline rough. is there any way in heck you can recomend a string that is close to it. I know it would be hard since you have never played with it before, but any advice would be gratefull.
     
  29. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Oh no, I've tried it before, I just couldn't stand it since it makes no sense in a Dunlop frame which is supposed to have great flex. It really has nothing similar for one reason. The reason it didn't sell is because it is literally the stiffest non-kevlar string on the market. Similarly, they are discontinuing Duralast simply because it's a terrible, terrible string with no redeeming qualities other than it doesn't break. If you like the feel of Revenge, the only string I would really say you might try is Pro Hurricane Tour since that also has the same stiff sort of feel. What is it about the string that you like, let's start from there.
     
  30. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Actually, I'd just start a thread asking for opinions on what's similar since I don't like it and I do know of players that did (or do, one played on the travel team until he graduated last year).
     
  31. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    I guess you could say I like the lack of feel. It is so muted. you can just go for it and it has so much control. It feels stiff and does not hurt my arm on serves.
     
  32. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Demo 1: Volkl PowerBridge 10 Mid

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    Stringing: This was a fantastically easy racquet to string. Yes, I know I'm likely not supposed to, but the poly was 100% dead, and I'm not about to demo a racquet with sensational reviews that has ruined strings. So, I'll be using an equalizer. String is Isospeed Baseline Spin 1.20mm. Didn't even need to touch up anything afterwards, this stuff just goes in so easily. The racquet's grommets, although quite worn from much demoing, were super smooth to work with. Strung 47/47lbs.
     
  33. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ You probably did the next few demo users a big favor.
     
  34. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Probably so since I'll only hit with the stick for an hour or two tops (have 5 to demo), and the poly will still be nice and crispy :D
     
  35. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    As luck has it, all the courts at the local place are booked solid until Tuesday, and the only alternative is extremely expensive. Oh well, I need to test these guys out AND keep practicing, so I'll suck up the pricing.

    I'm excited to try the Volkl, but I really am curious to see if it has the added easy power I'm looking for? I liked with the Prestige S that I could decide how I wanted to stroke the ball every time. The light weight and free power lets you swing a bit slower and put more into spin rather than pace. With my Dunlops, you need a complete stroke every time simply because there is just so much momentum. If you try to slow down the swing, you end up fighting the racquet. I found this same thing with the Prestige MP (the same thing as with the S, the good thing that is) and I quite like that. One, it lets me play only as intensely as I want to, and two, it gives more control over how much is velocity and how much is spin. With 5 racquets to demo, that is one trait the new frame must have.
     
  36. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Professional

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    I have a pb10 mid+ that is 18x20 with NXT. I had to swing out a bit more to get the pace I was used to on my other racquets but was then rewarded with a bit more kick and topspin. As I played with it more, the swing speed started to come easier as I was gaining confidence. The spin and ball action continued to reward proper mechanics. Very good control and touch. A bit challenging for me to keep pace on my serves and I know I need to give it more practice.

    I wanted to try the mid but haven't had a chance to. I would think you would get more pop. Happy testing!
     
  37. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Yeah, the Prestige MP, even though 18x20, is to this day the best serving stick I've tried. I felt like I could put that ball anywhere, so the racquet I choose will need to be outstanding on serves primarily, and then be maneuverable around the court second.
     
  38. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    levy1's Mystery Gut 16g / MSV CoFocus 1.23mm

    Mystery Gut 16g / MSV CoFocus 1.23mm

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Stringing: This playtest is brought to you in part by levy1. He posted that he had found a natural gut supplier having run out of Performaxx. I asked him about it, and he offered to sell me a set to test. I agreed, so here we are! To start: all details about the gut itself will have to be answered by him because I know absolutely nothing whatsoever about where this gut came from or who manufactures it. Now, let's get on to the string.

    This is without question in the "cheap" gut class. I have strung the majority of the cheap guts including Global, Mamba, Volley, Unifibre, an unnamed e Bay brand and of course Performaxx. Out of all of these, Performaxx is second to none as far as quality. It truly strings like and appears to be Pacific gut. The mystery gut, however, does not. It is very brittle feeling and has the very rough texture that the rest of the budget guts do. It has, however, a singular advantage over Mamba, Global and Volley, but not Unifibre. Although rough and dry, it is consistent in gauge. It is 1.36mm unstrung per my calipers whereas the Unifibre is 1.33mm in gauge. Now, from set to set, I cannot be sure obviously, but it is fairly uniform although not smooth. There is no protective coating of any sort and has typical budget gut coil memory.

    It took me about 8 minutes longer to string this gut than it does with VS, Pacific or Performaxx. The reason is because knowing that it feels like a cheaper gut, I don't want to rush anything whatsoever for fear of it breaking. While weaving the crosses, the roughness is very apparent because the gut does not let you slide the poly into straightening position very easily. After tensioning, the amount of touch-up straightening is exactly like that of the other cheap guts. You get the same "violin" sound when fanning the poly which is indicative of a very rough surface.

    So, here's my stringing conclusion. Although less expensive than Performaxx, it is indeed a cheaper gut than Performaxx. I don't have confidence while stringing it, and since it is so thick, I would not want to do this in a full bed. It is not a product I would offer to my customers for the very reason that I cannot guarantee that I will be able to have some recourse in the event of premature breakage. Now, that is a tad unfair since I bought it through someone and not from a company, but given what I've been told, it's not a gut to buy a few sets at a time. In summary, it strings just like the other dry budget guts, but gets marks for being consistent in gauge, but still is not in the same quality league as Performaxx. I will hit with it this evening to give the playability verdict. Strung at 52/47lbs, no prestretch.


    Groundstrokes: As I said, this was just decent from the baseline. It plays very much like a budget gut. It took about an hour and a half to break in, and once it did, it played slightly better than a multifilament. You will not find the spin of a high quality natural gut string. You also won't find the same amount of power. The responsiveness also isn't there. However, for the <$20/set price, it is indeed superior to all multifilaments. Caveat incoming: I would still side with the multifilaments because they are easier to string, and they provide similar amounts of spin. So, in short, this might as well be Unifibre for all I know.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    Serves: This is a huge category for me, and natural gut setups need to shine here. This did not. It instead felt as though the CoFocus was restraining the natural gut instead of complementing it as it should and does with other guts. After only 1 hour, the poly is all over the place as well, and the gut does not return to center. In my experience, this is a sign to expect less spin on serves and that came up here.
    Overall: 8/10

    Volleys: Obviously, feel is paramount for natural gut. As I said in my brief review before, this does not have the feel of natty. It's fairly...solid on volleys, but is not crisp and that is a pre-req for me. What I mean is that it doesn't let you use touch and different amounts of spin to create angles easily.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    Durability: Since the poly was next to impossible to straighten after stringing due to how rough the gut is, the poly started to "sink" into the gut quickly. I am fastidious about notching, and it is not notched. Rather, the string is so soft that the CoFocus just sits there unable to move with ease. The gut is fraying a lot much like Mamba Supra, and although it did not pop yet, the fact it took two hitting sessions to break in means I can't give it high marks here. Although not traditionally a sign of durability, I find that a string that takes a while to break-in is a sign of its stability. In other words, if you spend 2 hours wearing it in just until its playable, you get that fewer hours of prime playability. With an uncoated gut like this, that's not a good thing.
    Overall: 8.5/10

    Please keep in mind two things as I've said numerous times: firstly, I am not a 5.0 level player, and secondly, your mileage may vary. However, the tedium in stringing simply counts this out for me before starting to play. Once I did play, it was just like all other inexpensive gut strings which isn't particularly better than a decent multi. Also as I've mentioned many times, NRG2 is my favorite multifilament, and I would choose it in a heart beat over this string.

    Nonetheless, many thanks to levy for finding the manufacturer and allowing me to playtest it.


    Overall: 8.5/10
     
  39. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    On an unrelated note, the Prestige S demo was strung was Sonic Pro 17 which was actutally quite a nice string. Crispy, good spin, and just felt nice overall. A touch pricey.
     
  40. Hotrocks

    Hotrocks Rookie

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    PVAUDIO- You need demo the Prestige-IG Pro. Does most everything well!!! Just a thought.................
     
  41. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Don't worry my friend, it's on the list already!
     
  42. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    That PB10 is a SCALPEL! Oh wow, that stick is simply fabulous. It feels like a precision tool too, and off the ground and at the net, it just...works. However, my serving was absolutely atrocious tonight. Don't know if it was because I'm so used to a very different feel while serving, or if I was just serving badly in general. Either way, this stick is #1 off the ground and on volleys, and the Prestige still reigns on serves. I need to get the PB10, Prestige MP and Prestige Pro on the court at the same time, same string, same tension. The BLX 95 just felt too stiff and too powerful, kind of tinny like I've always felt with Wilson frames. The Speed Pro just was awful. Didn't try the Tecnifibre, but it just doesn't feel right. Plus, it's absolutely hideous in my opinion, and I don't even care about aesthetics.
     
  43. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Ever been tempted to give the Prestige Mid a little test drive??

    Lol yeah I'm a little biased here, but with some lead it's a phenomenal scalpel. :)
     
  44. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    pvaudio, I agree with you about the scalpel like playing you get with the PB 10 Mid. I was amazed at how great it plays. I have three now but only one strung up. I have not tried the serves yet. I want to get comfortable enough with the groundies and the net play first. I have a ball machine that I have been using. Of course, as you know, the serve is the last thing that gets dialed in. So don't get frustrated.
    I'm not sure about the Head racquets mentioned. I demoed them and they were just "meh" compared to the PB 10 Mid. But , to each their own. That's why they make 1000's of racquets.
     
  45. Recon

    Recon Semi-Pro

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    PV Audio, maybe you can help me out?
    I'm looking for a performance poly in a nice shiny price tag.
    I play with the Youtek Prestige Pro, Budget 100 for a reel.
    I play with heavy spin, but I don't necessarily like those polys that just fluff the ball up begging to be hit, I like a heavy ball with a nice tight arc.

    1. It needs to have good pop/power (for the serve and to make up for the prestige)
    2. Great spin of course but nothing outrageous (don't want fluff balls),
    3. Excellent tension maintenance (cause I hate when playability changes, screw you rpm).

    I care about feel but it doesn't break the deal for me, comfort don't care, I have no problems with stiffness.
    What would you suggest? Thank you, I appreciate your work, and the "service" your providing to the tennis people, good genuine help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  46. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Fun fact: these are the only racquets that every time I've gotten one has made me curse out loud:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/POZPT/POZPTReview.html

    I don't know what Prince was thinking with their lack of grommets, but I can handle O-ports fine. It's the tie-offs that are absurd. And when the customer wants 15L natural gut in full....:evil:
     
  47. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Honestly, the string that sounds like what you want is Tour Bite or Signum Pro tornado, but they're not under 100/reel (Tornado is if you order from stringer's world UK). I would look into Tourna BHBR then, as that might just give you enough tension stability.
     
  48. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Update on the racquet saga:

    PB10: Superior at net, superior on FH, superior on controlled slice, inferior on serve, inferior on backhand, inferior on driving slice

    Presige MP: Far superior on serve, far superior on backhand, far superior on spin, far superior on driving slice.

    Power: Prestige MP
    Control: PB10
    Volleys: PB10
    Spin: Prestige MP
    Feel: PB10
    Serve: Prestige MP

    Alas, this is a very difficult decision especially since I put in a string that I know in the PB10 ad I'm using a multi I don't like in the Prestige and I still love it. I want to re-demo it (due tomorrow), the Prestige MP and the Prestige Pro. However, since I have not once served well with the PB10 or hit a seriously penetrating 2HBH with it, I dunno...! Even with its closed multi stringbed, the Prestige just feels more lethal from all areas of the court, but I can't hit touch shots as easily.
     
  49. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Should clarify: driving slice = offensive, controlled slice = defensive.
     
  50. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The tie-offs are probably the same on the Exo Tour since that is the updated version of the racket you strung. I leave myself a little more string on the mains so that I can preweave them through the last 2 holes before I tension the last 2 mains on each side. I also pre weave the top cross now before pulling tension. That still leaves me with that pesky bottom tie off hole to deal with. I know there are tips out there on how to deal with this so I'll have to do a search. Bottom line, if you don't plan ahead those holes are a big hassle.
     

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