Soft poly with good spin?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Jazo, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Jazo

    Jazo New User

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    I want a soft poly with good spin. I am thinking of trying the Luxilon BB Ace 18 string, since i rarely break strings. :)
     
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  2. Jazo

    Jazo New User

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    And with some pop too.
     
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  3. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I've been promoting this a lot lately, but my vote goes to Polystar Energy. It's incredibly soft, with tremendous spin and above-average power for a poly. Some say it has the most power for a poly, but I'm not sure about that. The main drawback is that it loses tension very rapidly (maybe 3-4 matches).

    In the first 1-2 hours, I've never, EVER played with a poly that has more spin than PS Energy. You can do absolutely ridiculous things with that string in the first hour or so. It's hilarious to watch a serve kick 6 feet up into the fence. But after a few hours, the spin drops down to "normal" poly levels. PS Energy is one of the few polys I've played with that actually maintains its playability in the long term. The tension loss is the only thing that renders the strings unplayable. But if you can deal with the extra trampoline effect, you can get another week or so out of them.

    If you string your own frames, then the per-set cost of PS Energy from the reel is around $5.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  4. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    RPM Blast is soft and has good spin as well as pop, but it is also pretty expensive.
     
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  5. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    RPM is about as close to soft as I am to Eva Mendes.
     
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  6. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Wow, that soft? :)
     
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  7. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I think there is a difference in what people consider "soft". There is "soft", as in MSV Hex and RPM Blast, but then there is "SOFT", as in Polyfibre TCS and Polystar Energy. Unfortunately, I don't think "soft" is good enough. "SOFT" is what's needed in many cases. And to add to that, there is "SOFT" with spongyness, and "SOFT" with feel. That's where PS Energy differs. It's very unique. "SOFT" TCS is just spongy, without feel. "SOFT" Energy has tremendous feel, control, and power.

    If there is another string that is similar to Energy, I would love to try it. Some have said that Black Magic is similar, but I haven't tried it yet so I cannot say.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  8. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    If you need "SOFT" then why bother with anything other than natty gut?
     
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  9. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Because nat gut costs around $40 per set and PS Energy costs $5. I can get 8 sets of PS Energy (about 2 months at 1 set per week) for each set of nat gut. Also, nat gut will change properties during the course of 2 months while I can keep playing with fresh sets of PS Energy for the same cost.

    Also, nat gut doesn't even come CLOSE to the spin level of PS Energy and the power level isn't as controllable. Nat gut feels "stiff" but generates a ton of power, while PS Energy feels soft while offering similar power, along with more spin. Let's say natty gut is "crisp" and PS Energy is "comfortable".

    Nothing wrong with nat gut, but if you string your own frames and can afford to do it every week or so, then PS Energy is a better option.
     
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  10. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    Dunlop Black Widow is very soft and spiny. Its average in the power department. Slightly less soft and spiny, but more powerful is MSV Focus Hex.
     
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  11. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    :roll: Spin has ruined tennis. To me, I find it laughable that one would say there is a better string than natural gut, but hey, to each their own. And for the time it takes to restring several frames, doing it every week is just simply not an option.
     
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  12. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    ^^^ I regularly string people's racquets on a "walk-in" basis, as in it takes less than 20mins. To also be fair, poly is far more durable than any other string material aside from Aramid, so if someone kills their poly in 8 hitting hours, they would have popped their gut, syn gut or multi in the same time period. Ergo, you end up re-stringing just as often, but in the case of poly, you get greater all-court playability.
     
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  13. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Spin has not "ruined tennis." That's just absurd. Spin is absolutely necessary on serves, particularly the 2nd serve. I'm not talking Nadal-type spin. I'm talking spin required to keep the ball in play, to generate skidding slices, to create kicking serves and drop-dead dropshots.

    Just because natural gut is "the pinnacle of strings" doesn't mean it's the best for everyone in every situation.

    I love natural gut. But it's too expensive to play around with in trying to find the right string setup for a particular racquet. Each frame plays differently with different strings. I'm not about to spend $40 just to try a new tension or new frame, only to have to cut it out after 20 minutes of play because it doesn't work for me.

    For $5, I can easily try 5 or 6 different tensions for any given frame, and still cost less than 1 single set of natural gut.

    I think it's time to get off the soap box and come down to reality. Natural gut is good, but other string materials are often better suited for different playing styles or personal preferences.
     
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  14. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I will also add that if natural gut offered everything under the sun, then there would be no other strings.

    Poly isn't the end-all-be-all of strings, but it definitely offers some advantages over other strings that allow it to be a good option for many players.
     
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  15. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    So you are after soft and spin? Well might as well add in power and feel.

    Polystar energy is the one buddy.

    Doesn't hold tension as long as some other polys do but if you are using it more than 8-10 hours, you are kidding yourself. It needs to be cut out at that point anyways.
     
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  16. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    It's actually pretty hilarious. PS Energy really DOES have it all.... comfort, spin, power, feel, and control.

    The only drawback is longevity. I'd say you can get maybe 4-6 hours out of it before it becomes uncontrollable. But up until then, it's the perfect string.
     
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  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But it's also a poly, right? So it's naturally stiffer than most multis, which means there's a greater risk of eventually injuring your arm.

    I've yet to hit with ANY poly string that didn't hurt my arm, even the ones advertised to be "very soft".
     
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  18. Bowtiesarecool

    Bowtiesarecool Rookie

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    Golden Set-Snakebite
     
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  19. Kenzik

    Kenzik New User

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    Genesis Hexonic was pretty good to me. Soft feel with a little above-average spin. I really like the feel of it. It's cheap too!
     
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  20. CANTGETENOUGHTENNIS!

    CANTGETENOUGHTENNIS! Rookie

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    babolat hurricane feel is kind of a little bit soft-ish, but it has great spin generation
     
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  21. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Hey TonyB, what tension are you using for PS, and what racquet? I'm curious, because while I agree that PS is a very good poly (albeit for only a brief period of time), the spin you speak of generating with this string is what I find interesting. Mind you, I'm quite capable of generating respectable spin with the likes of a basic synthetic, hence my technique is quite sound. I just didn't find PS to be in the same league as Tour Bite, Cyclone, and several other popular polys, which seems to be the kind of spin you're producing with PS. I used it in a Volkl MP Classic at 53, by the way. I've also tried it in a hybrid, but I can't recall the tension--I'd have to look it up when I get home.
     
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  22. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    Not everybody has sore arms after using polys you know. V
     
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  23. AA5B Tiger

    AA5B Tiger New User

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    Same here - I used PolyStar Energy and didn't find it exhibiting the properties you speak of. Maybe I had it too tight. In a Head Extreme 100, I had it at 55lbs for the mains and 59 for Goshen SG 17 in the crosses.

    In comparison, I've tried MSV Hex at 50 in the mains and Goshen SG 17 in the crosses at 55 and could generate crazy spin with great power and a really nice "pop", but was spraying about 1/3 of the balls past the baseline 1-2' with good full swings. I was out of MSV so I tried the PolyStar/Goshen combo at 55/59 and I didn't notice much spin, liveliness, etc.. Did I have it too tight?
     
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  24. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    Why are your crosses tension so much higher than your mains?

    Well to do a proper comparison between the two different set up, you need to be at the same tension. But yes, you probably strung the crosses too high at 60 lbs
     
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  25. AA5B Tiger

    AA5B Tiger New User

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    Probably wrongly, I upped the SG tension because it is so much more elastic than the poly.

    Should I have just put the poly and SG at the same tension?
     
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  26. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    I'm just gonna let Mikeler or Drakalie answer that question, it's too complicated once it gets started about the finer details:)
     
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  27. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    There are numerous schools of thought on this issue. I for one string the more elastic string at a higher tension. I do NOT however string mains and crosses differently if using a full bed. I play poly/syn or poly/gut, and I play my poly in the high 40s. While syn gut is not very powerful, it is far less stiff than poly so I want to try and make a more uniform stringbed stiffness. Now, to be fair, the stringbed stiffness IS uniform no matter what and you'll never match the stiffness of the mains' contribution to that of the crosses presuming a poly hybrid. This is especially the case when using natural gut. To me it basically comes down to the fact that normally, you wouldn't play a synthetic in the low 50s or high 40s, but you shouldn't string it at your normal 58 when you want to play poly at 50. You'll get a very interesting head shape if you did that. So, by upping that tension, you get the elastic string closer to the range it was "meant" to be played in. I have done it both ways (tension same on both m/c) and truth be told found no difference in playability. It's more of habit now. On Yonex frames, the story is different, as you are meant to lower the crosses.
     
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  28. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I'm using the PS Energy strung at 30 lb. in a Yonex Tour 89. I've also strung it at 32 lb. in a Vantage 90 with the same results. Crazy spin, amazing touch, and controllable power. But after a few hours on the court, the tension loss turns the stringbed into a trampoline and shots start to fly. Also, to make matters worse, the spin potential drops. So they really need to be cut out at the 6-hour mark, at most.

    I've never strung the PS Energy in the 50's, so I can't say whether or not it's the low tension that's giving the increased spin. All I know is that I can hit ridiculous kick serves and sick skidding slices with it that I was NEVER able to do with any other string, including a Natural Gut/MSV Hex hybrid.

    The Yonex Tour 89 is a fairly tight stringbed -- probably akin to a midplus frame with a 18x20 pattern. And the spin is still ourtrageous. I really like this string a lot at the low tension. Power level is high, but it's not ridiculous. You really need to try it first-hand to see how good polys can play at low tensions (<40 lb.).
     
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  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You most likely eventually will as you get older, especially if you hit flat and use a small headed racquet.
     
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  30. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    How much older? I'm 43 and I've used a 90 sq. in. frame practically forever. I've been using polys exclusively for several years. I suppose if I used a stiff poly at high tensions in a stiff frame, I would have problems. But if you're smart about your equipment and watch out for signs of arm problems, you can use pretty much whatever equipment you want.

    Fact is, since I switched to PS Energy from Tour Bite, my arm feels better and doesn't get "tired" like it used to. But I've never suffered from tennis elbow from any frame or string, but I've always used small (90-93 sq. in.), heavy (12+ oz.), headlight frames.
     
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  31. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

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    Tony, have you ever used Topspin Cyber Blue? Many posters claim that it's a soft, powerful string that produces decent spin, and holds its tension well. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm about to order some soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
    #31
  32. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, never tried Cyber Blue. I've heard the same things.

    Mostly, I'm afraid of what people consider soft". From what I've experienced, most of the "soft" strings are dead, lifeless, and spongy. There are very few "soft" strings that are lively and have good response with feel. PS Energy is one of them. Tour Bite isn't soft, but I would refer to it as "crisp" with feel.

    There are way too many polys to try all of them. I find what I like and stick with it.
     
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  33. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Pacific X Force (17 gauge is the preference over 16L or 18 ) is very soft. While it can be comparable to Luxilon M2 Pro in some respects...it is not to my liking though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
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  34. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Cyber Blue is a lot like WC Mosquito Bite, Head Ultra Tour and nearly the same as IsoSpeed Axon Mono. Personally, if these are the choices I'll just go right back to the ice blue:) Lux Alu Power.
     
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  35. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But do you hit flat?

    Yes, stringing poly at super low tensions can only help and using a heavy racquet always helps, too.
     
    #35
  36. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Tony. Given that you use a 90" do you think it (PSE)would be a good option in a 100" thicker beamed frame at a slightly higher tension? I have used it before in a 95" and it was sublime for the first match but the playability dropped off pretty quick (strung it at 35lbs from memory). I was thinking more like 45 for the 100". The bonus is that they now do it in black.

    One string that does come close to PS in terms of feel & power is Yonex PTP (the bright yellow one). not as soft though.
     
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  37. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    This is a great description of what my arm feels like with the wrong string. I strung up a set of Timo 18 I had laying around to try in my new frame. At 51/49, my arm was tight the next morning, tired feeling and I'm 54. The search continues...
     
    #37
  38. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    BP, I agree with you that any poly is still stiffer than most multis... until I tried PS Energy. I string with a dropweight and PS Energy stretches like "some" multis do on there... not on par with "soft multis", but it stretches like No Other poly...

    I loved the string, but hated the fact that it would go from glorious in the first couple hours to horrendous after about hour 4-5. It really does drop tension and becomes a launcher, also like no other poly (most others become stiff, and brick-like over time).

    I finally settled on Pacific Gut 16L main/ WC Mosquito Bite cross setup. MBite plays soft and compliments gut well, as it neither gets harsh like some polys (lux) nor trampoline-ish like Energy over time. I hit flat with a 12.5 oz 18x20 flexy frame from 1995. I'm in the camp that would play full gut if I could afford, so Gut/MBite is the closest I've found "feel-wise", and the setup has up to 3x durability as full gut, with a bit better control and no noticeable loss of comfort.

    For a 'feel' oriented poly, MBite has an edge on PS Energy, in my experience. PS Energy also didn't pair well with gut like MBite did, for me.

    Full PS Energy though is great for those willing to restring every 4-5 hours, who don't want to use gut... it's cost effective for self-stringers and plays great when fresh (PS Turbo has same feel & longevity as Energy, with more spin for those wanting that).
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    #38
  39. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    This is exactly right. Unfortunately, I absolutely LOVE the power, feel, and control of the PS Energy, despite the short lifespan, so I find myself having to restring quite often. I totally agree that it goes from "I've found Heaven!" to "This stuff sucks!" almost instantly when you hit the 6-hour mark (sometimes less).

    And yes, at the 6-hour mark, the spin potential drops like a rock and the power level goes off the charts, which is 180-degrees opposite of just about every other poly I've ever used. But up until then, the performance is absolutely unreal.

    However, most other polys just plain "suck" after 8 hours or so anyway. They lose their pop, the spin potential goes downhill, and they start to hurt your arm. So, for the sake of losing a couple hours' worth of playtime, I prefer to restring a little sooner with PS Energy and cradle my arm in sheer bliss for the next 6 hours on the court.
     
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  40. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    If liking polys but dreading the dead feel of it after several hours, why not just switch to Tecnifibre Bi-Phase at higher tensions (chose 17; better feel than the 16 or 18 )?

    It usually snaps anyways before it dies out; way better than a dead string!

    On occasions though when it breaks at the 10-minute marker and I only brought 3 racquets then it sucks because I have to borrow racquets from the opponent.:oops:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
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  41. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    LOL, for the people who dont break x-ones in about 3 hours, and try to use it full bed, its the biggest rocket launcher!!!! after about the 4 hour mark! you have to cut it out.

    its in exactly the same boat as Polystar energy, awesome for the first 3 hours, then SUX badly. but you get about 7/8 hours in the Polystars.

    trust me, im an expert x-one user, hence my name.

    be smart and use x-ones in the mains and cheap syn gut in the crosses!! you cant go wrong there, it would only last 2/3 hours though for big hitters
     
    #41
  42. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    I trust you, loved it so much that but dread the fact I have to carry so many racquets because the strings snaps way too early for me. Never had a dead string feel from X-1s; it's broken before it's dead.:cool:
     
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  43. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    I hear you brother, the only reason im using the polystar energy is because i cant afford to use the X-ones any longer, just dosent last long. i get a solid 8 hours with my current set up b4 i cut it out.
     
    #43
  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Are you guys absolutely sure PS Energy is really made of polyester? :)

    I would consider giving it a try but I swore to myself I would never risk using another poly ever again.
     
    #44
  45. PaulC

    PaulC Semi-Pro

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    It is a co-poly. I am currently hybriding it with Forten Sweet 17 on the cross at lower to mid 40 lbs depends on frames. (all 90-93s)

    I mainly use it for it's minimal string movement and great spin as a MAIN.

    However I never had any luck with polys in full sets including it.
    -- except for the "multi-polys" like Prince Poly EXP 17: it's even "softer", but spin is not as good as the true polys (not "knife" into the ball as hard I guess)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    #45
  46. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Probably you already know but it belongs to the poly family, quite like the whole lotta polys these days claiming to be soft-ER. Like switching brands when in fact only about 4 (1 in France, 1 in Japan and 2 in Germany) are producing the various strings marketed across the tennis sphere.:)
     
    #46
  47. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Polystar being one of those who actually manufacture strings.

    Has anyone tried PS Strike? Ordered a set out of curiosity as it get pretty good write ups. Also got PS Energy black and Classic coming. Think PS will provide just what I am after for my Xi which definitely does not suit the gut/poly hybrid I have in there currently.
     
    #47
  48. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    JT, have you tried PS Strike which is a bit stiffer than Energy but holds tension better (so I am led to believe)? Also I have thought about hybriding these strings, in particular Turbo/Energy but also thinking of Strike/Energy.
     
    #48
  49. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Frankly, haven't tried any PolyStar strings. I would not be talking things I haven't tried.
     
    #49
  50. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    OMG. You haven't tried it yet. PE is strung very low like 44 lbs cross with syn gut is probably more comfy than a stiff multi at 56/57. That's just what I think. I'm probably never gonna hear the end of this now from the non ploy users, lol

    You should try poly for the last time, this is quite soft, my clamps leaves marks all over the string cause its that soft. My mate broke this string on his machine, and he's stung hundreds of polys, tells me it's the softest he's strung.
     
    #50

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