"Resting" Poly Crosses = Less Spin/Control, More Pop

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TimothyO, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Tried an experiment this week comparing "resting" poly crosses between pulls and not.

    Background: some believe that one should allow polyester strings to "rest" between pull and clamping off. IIRC this might be part of the "JET" method. In any case, the idea is to increase the lifespan and playability of the polyester and manage tension loss.

    This week I had two matched frames strung the same way on the same type of machine. Stringer A allows a poly to rest as described above. Stringer B does not.

    The results were absolutely clear: the frame strung by A, with the poly crosses allowed to rest, provided more "pop" but less control and far less spin. Over time one can even see the poly crosses almost "sag" in an odd way as they are not perfectly straight in the bottom of the head. The distance is very tiny but clearly visible.

    The frame strung by B, with no rest between pull and clamp off, provides far more spin and control if less pop/power (which I prefer). And the crosses remain perfectly straight after an equal period of play (one match each with some serve and wall practice too).

    The difference was most noticeable on flat serves. The "rested" frame strung by A made it more difficult to keep my flat serves down. Too many sailed long. The frame strung by B generated enough spin even on flat serves to pull the ball down and in with plenty of pace. It was a joy to serve with B while A was just a headache.

    Same thing on ground strokes. A tended to sail closer to the baseline or over while B provided a more spin and a heavier shot.

    Lesson: at least in gut/poly hybrids, mushy crosses provide less spin and control compared to tighter crosses. I suppose this is one reason poly crosses work so well with gut mains but the lesson here is that even a poly cross can be too mushy to do its job of providing solid, stable support for the gut mains.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
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  2. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!! I actually enjoy reading your off-the-wall theories here.

    You seem to do everything and anything to your equipment to improve your game... Bravo... just don't forget to actually improve your game on court!! :)

    Best wishes on that flux capacitor thingy for increasing SW/g/MRI thingy....
     
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  3. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I assume you are using a lockout machine because a constant pull machine won't be giving it any rest. As I understand it, the JET method involves using a constant pull machine and waiting at least 5 seconds for the mains and 20 seconds for the crosses. This is much different from giving it a rest. The method also assumes you are pulling the poly at a low enough tension to compensate for the extra pull it is getting.

    The crosses are always looser than the mains when you pull at the same setting because the weave tightens the mains and the friction from the mains lessens the amount of pull you get. You can compensate by pulling harder (higher tension setting) or by giving a constant pull machine more time to pull. I think the theory is that the extra pulling time is more gentle than a higher setting.
     
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  4. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    also, if stringer A and stringer B were not the same person your theory is based on nothing but apples and oranges.
     
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  5. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    based on what you wrote, no, that is not the JET method. what Ramon said about the JET method is correct. if anything, a racquet strung using the JET method will be stiffer, not softer vs a racquet strung not using the JET method at the same tension. also as Ramon said, JET method is best done on a CP machine so that the string is allowed time to settle and stabilize under constant tension before clamping off.
     
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  6. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Are you one of those oddballs that attends events such as car shows and berate attendees for discussing cars? Or in school did you admonish history teachers for discussing history? ;)

    I'm certain that I could double bagel you quite easily. Very easily in fact.

    You make foolish assumptions such as discussion of tennis hardware on a forum dedicated to tennis hardware automatically precludes tennis practice and matches. Such a foolish assumption clearly indicates a lack of reasoning ability. As tennis, when played well, is a thinking person's game driven by intelligent shot selection and pro-active court positioning you must be a complete push-over on the tennis court.
     
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  7. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    What you describe is precisely how stringer A approaches the task on a CP. I used the wrong term (ie "rest"). My apologies.

    Stringer A doesn't take that extra time when stringing gut, only polyester. So the gut mains are being pulled and secured without pause while the crosses are being pulled and then there's that 20 second pause.

    Meanwhile B treats gut and poly the same.
     
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  8. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Why would the frame being strung with that 20 second pause be stiffer?

    How might the application of JET to the poly in a hybrid effect the situation?

    I'll try to post an image of the string beds later today. It should be clear just how different the crosses are.
     
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  9. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    are stringer a and stringer b different people using different machines?
     
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  10. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Same machine.

    But excellent question!
     
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  11. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Ever try a Stringway Cross Stringing tool to alleviate friction from the mains?
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    If that's the case then A should be the tighter string bed, which is counter-intuitive to A having more pop, unless the poly was so tight that the extra pull destroyed it.

    It sounds like there might be other variables in play here. Do you have a way to measure the string bed tension (ie. RacquetTune, ERT, etc.)?
     
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  13. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    On a constant pull stringer, the pause will give you a tighter string bed. Force is applied to the string for the entire 20 seconds, and it will cause the string to move in only one direction; toward the gripper. It's supposed to achieve a tighter string bed without increasing the setting. If you are satisfied with the stiffness of the string without the extra pull time, you need to decrease the tension setting to get the same stiffness with the extra 20 seconds.

    What kind of machine was it? Certain electronic machines are not constant pull even though some people think they are.

    How controlled was this experiment? Did you watch the stringers, and did they do everything else the same way. Now that I string my racquets I don't trust anyone else because of all the variables out there. They could be in a rush to complete 15 jobs, they might be trainees, or they might stop to help a customer for 15 minutes while in the middle of the job (we've all seen it, right?).
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
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  14. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Ramon's points.

    Taking a look at the bolded points first:
    To be clear, was "A" strung on constant pull and the pulls were allowed to 'rest' or settle? This would mean those crosses (if reference tension is the same for both racquets), are Tighter. See Ramon's comments above, all of which I agree with.

    Setup "B" is therefore going to have "mushier" crosses, if all other things are equal. Think of it this way, the longer the constant pull is, the more string gets pulled, the effective tension increases, and everything will be stiffer, not mushier. Thus, the "lesson" is reverse: mushy crosses provide more control and spin (If we ignore the possible fact that no two stringers are alike and will provide different results, even on the same machine. This is also common in the stringing world.)

    To address the underlined portions, the "sagging" sounds more like the stringer's lack of straightening out the "smile" effect that occurs during stringing: as a stringer, you have to constantly adjust the crosses to a straight line after weaving the next cross, or you result in that sag. It happens to my crosses if I rush and don't take time to adjust them during stringing process, and have seen many a stringer leave the same "smile" behind. It's a natural by-product of the tensioning cross string process; each cross has a sag if not adjusted after the following cross. I know you said it happened after hitting, but while unlikely, if it did happen during hitting, then that would most likely be due to your mains being not as tight as setup B, who's higher SBS would exert more resistance in allowing the strings to sag.
     
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  15. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    +1 for Ramon and JT_2eighty's detailed explanations which are spot on.
     
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  16. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    The only way I can see this making some sense is if the OP is talking about the strings' performance after they're broken in. If a string 'rests' during pulls it may have shorter longevity. But I haven't tried it; it's just conjecture.
     
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  17. BlueB

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    I'd also think that way...
     
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  18. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Another addendum to the analysis I would say is that the "less stiff" cross setup is going to have longer dwell time, which we do know that longer dwell times can help aid spin (I wouldn't call any poly cross 'mushy', but that's not important). Perhaps this is part of the answer of why you preferred the spin on setup B.

    Having myself tinkered with too many gut/poly setups and possibilities that I care to admit, there is an interesting point at which I've noticed going *too high* in tension results in uncontrollable power, just as going too low. Finding the right "sweet spot" of tensions that fit a particular racquet (stiff frames and flexy frame have different interactions with the same string), is the challenge in fine-tuning a gut/poly setup. This is why some hate it or love it. It can be expensive to try all the options, and if you start somewhere that doesn't work, it's not worth all the fiddling with expensive gut to find a good setup. Most of my trials over the years with a couple different frames showed me that the low to middle range of a racquet's recommended tension is the best for gut/poly. Personally I'm liking 52/49 on the 18x20 PT280, and 56/53 on the 16x19 YTPP. I find when I use softer poly crosses that give a nice dwell and pocketing feel to compliment the gut mains will result in easy spin. The stiffer polys give good directional control, and spin is fine, but not as effortless. Also the fact that I and others note how gut/poly can break-in nicely so that spin access gets better over time, perhaps gives us good evidence that softer poly crosses help spin.

    Keep up the experimentation though, and don't let the oddballs like poster #2 get in the way.!
     
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  19. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    this is consistent w/ my experiences as well with every string. if the tension is too high, everything i hit seems to either go long or end up in the net.

    by using the JC method on my string jobs, i am able to string my sticks between 45-50 and the feeling is comparable to a string job in the mid 50s strung conventionally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
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  20. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    Don't you play USTA 3.5 or 4.0?

    Any time man... any time..........hahahhaaaaa...
     
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  21. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    TimothyO dont even feed the trolls

    its always best to not reply, even-though I'm replying its directed to TimothyO

    the trolls thrive off of the negative energy, so ignoring them is best IMO

    :shock:
     
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  22. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    I have found that allowing the 20 second stretch in my set up does result in a more plush string bed. Pocketing and control are much better than clamping quickly. Tried both ways as well. Liked the stretch MUCH better.
     
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  23. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    GlenK,

    How many pounds of tension do you go down when using a 20 second stretch?
     
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  24. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Yup, and irrelevant. You'd be a pushover. It's obvious from your posts.

    Combine the content of your posts (eg that racquet discussion precludes court time) with your reference to a USTA rating and it's clear you're an easy target.
     
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  25. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, and no worries. Floyd just needs to spend some time outdoors playing tennis instead of in his mom's basement trolling the internet. So much time alone makes him peevish and irrational. Thus his rage about people discussing tennis hardware on a forum dedicated to tennis hardware.

    He probably frequents current events forums to rage about people discussing current events, car forums to rage about people discussing cars, etc. He just seems very angry. Which is never good for one's tennis (which is probably why he's not very good...irrational thoughts and anger management problems are not a tennis player's friend!). :D
     
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  26. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    Right now I'm stringing my racquets at 57-55 and using the 20 second stretch only on the MSV CF crosses. Have a constant pull mch.
     
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  27. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    What I meant was, did you decrease your reference tension setting on your machine, to offset your 20 second stretch? How many pounds?
     
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  28. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    I'm curious -- I've got the same machine as you on the way, since I'm stringing quite a bit more for others and it's just taking too long on my X-6.

    Are you using the slow setting for Co-F? Have you ever tried medium?
     
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  29. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    For the most part I agree with you. But sometimes you need to take out the trash. :)
     
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  30. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    No, I use the reference tension shown in my signature. But since I've been using CF I've always slow pulled it. I did forget to change the setting to slow once and the SB felt really boardy.
     
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  31. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    Yes, I use the slow button for any poly I string. I read articles a year or so ago to try the slow button on poly and it did seem to result in a more plush feeling. I have not tried the med button.
     
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