Softest Multifilament String

Discussion in 'Strings' started by xbrando7, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. xbrando7

    xbrando7 New User

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    Can anybody tell me what some of the softest multifilaments available are? i currently use Gamma Professional 16 with my Babolat Pure Storm GT, and sometimes my shoulder hurts after too much play. I know that this may be a shoulder injury, which I am looking into, but in the meantime i would like to find a soft multi that can give me some forgiveness.
     
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  2. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2010/01/string_selector_2010.html

    The above is a USRSA string list that reflects both stiffness and tension loss testing. Because of the way the string is actually made, there is some variation when played with that is felt.

    What it shows about your current string, if you look, is that if you went to a thinner gauge--say, the 18 gauge version--you would get what you want. OTOH, for whatever reason, strings that have zyex in them, which always register as less stiff than some, play stiffer than they list, for me.

    My own review puts Babolat's Xcel at the head of a "softness" list, and I think it absorbs shock some, too. Another economical choice would be Prince's Premier with Softflex. And I am healing a shoulder injury at this time; this is my second, different one of them. Be advised: These are nothing to fool around with, as they can involve the rotator cuff prematurely, and then restrict your service and overhead motion.

    You have another problem then, which is restringing enough. When the USRSA recommends that you drop tension by five pounds and restring at the first sign of arm/shoulder trouble, they mean it, it can help then, too. But once it's come on, you're better off resting it until it subsides.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
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  3. Kcraig

    Kcraig Professional

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    Def check out the USRSA ratings--but as Vajean stated, some strings can have lower stiffness ratings, but due to composition can actually feel stiffer. I too am also coming back from tricep/elbow issue and am testing out several multis. Softest I have used/tried in the past is Weiscannon Explosiv! Very very soft and nice tension maintence as well--also very comparable to Mantis Comfort Synthetic 1.30 (which I just tried). These strings are both very soft, but in my soft frame (60 flex) they almost feel too mushy.

    Also have tried Quasi Gut 16g, Maxim Touch Classic 17g and Pacific Prem X Power 16g. What's interesting is the Max Touch has a stiffness rating of 153 compared to 202 of the Pacific and the Pacific actually feels a tad softer-go figure!! The USRSA ratings are a good place to def start, but you have to test them out in your frame to tell for sure. I have a good Pacific connection in town so I have access to all the Pacific strings at a good "deal"--so next up is PMX.

    Maybe try to drop down to a 17g to start as many times they can feel softer and offer better feel. And you should be OK for durability with a 16x20 pattern.
     
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  4. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    Ashaway Dynamite Soft 18 is very likely the softest. It just came out, however, so it has not yet been formally tested.

    The softest multifilament string in TW's database, when gauge is taken into account, is Ashaway Dynamite WB 16. If gauge is not taken into account, then IsoSpeed Professional Classic is a bit softer at high tension.

    Because Dynamite WB, which is a very thick 1.41mm gauge, is the softest (generally) of the synthetic strings tested by Tennis Warehouse, it makes sense that the thinner 17 gauge variety would be the among the softest, if not the softest string on the market. RSI gives IsoSpeed Professional higher stiffness numbers than Dynamite 17 at high tension.

    RSI's numbers also give Head Perfect Power 17 and Gamma Professional 18 -- which are slightly thinner, slightly lower numbers at high tension. Dynamite is softest at lower tensions.

    In any case, the new Dynamite Soft, which uses thinner Zyex filaments, should be even softer, hence the name. Also, since Gamma Professional 18 is $20 a pack, Dynamite at $8.50 a pack (TW was/is running a special for 5+ packs at $7.08 per pack) is a better deal.

    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2010/01/string_selector_2010.html
     
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  5. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    Here is Ashaway Dynamite WB 16 versus Gamma Professional 16, Tennis Warehouse numbers:

    Dynamite WB is 1.41mm thick.
    Professional 16 is 1.33mm thick.

    Stiffness is the number in the columns.

    40 lbs reference tension:
    Dynamite WB 16, Slow, 124.0
    Professional 16, Slow, 130.9
    Dynamite WB 16, Medium, 109.7
    Professional 16, Medium, 129.2
    Dynamite WB 16, Fast , 104.6
    Professional 16, Fast, 124.6

    results: Dynamite softer at all swing speeds.

    51 lbs reference tension:
    Professional 16, Slow, 143.4
    Dynamite WB 16, Slow, 153.2
    Dynamite WB 16, Medium, 137.2
    Professional 16, Medium, 152.6
    Dynamite WB 16, Fast , 125.2
    Professional 16, Fast, 149.7

    results: Dynamite softer at medium and fast swings. Professional softer at slow swing.

    62 lbs reference tension:
    Professional 16, Slow, 163.4
    Dynamite WB 16, Slow, 172.0
    Dynamite WB 16, Medium, 153.2
    Professional 16, Medium, 173.7
    Dynamite WB 16, Fast, 142.3
    Dynamite WB 16, Fast, pre-stretched, 149.7
    Professional 16, Fast, 172.0

    results: Dynamite softer at medium and fast swing speeds. Professional softer at slow swing speed.

    This is where Zyex is more like natural gut than other synthetics. Even in a very thick gauge, it stretches more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
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  6. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    You have a couple of problems with these posts you have done. The first is with how stiffness computes; it is based on how the string is stretched at impact--"The stiffness value is a calculation derived from the amount of force created at impact to stretch the string"--not how it feels in play, yet you treat these as one and the same, and as though they could be now. And how a string stretches in fact does not unfailingly compute to how soft it is in play, too; the verdict from play is this value is more a matter of string composition and/or construction, in particular the number and direction of its wrap(s), possibly its coating, whether it does and doesn't have a center core and so on.

    To sort this out with play itself, consider one example: POSG and PSG w/Duraflex have nearly identical USRSA stiffness numbers, yet one would have to say play substantially different--and the "stiffer" string in play would clearly have to be PSG w/Duraflex, wouldn't it? That could be due to its kevlar mixed in...

    Now, to zyex, too. Dynamite WB has been on the market close to 20 years. That means it has had plenty of exposure, plenty of time to impress us. Yet I venture to say no one in here has much, if any, use for it; it hasn't shown up much at all in this forum, until, I dare say, you began to mention it.

    I suggest you poll us to find out why this is--you know, along the lines of have you played with the string, why is/isn't it one you are still using, etc..

    We'll all help you learn about it, then; just try us out....
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
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  7. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    TW says stiffness is what matters.

    Synthetic Gut 16 Duraflex, Medium (51 lbs), Slow, 168.6, 9.7
    Syn Gut Original 16, Medium (51 lbs), Slow, 193.7, 9.9

    Synthetic Gut 16 Duraflex, Medium (51 lbs), Fast, 177.7, 10.4
    Syn Gut Original 16, Medium (51 lbs), Fast, 191.5, 10.6

    Synthetic Gut 16 Duraflex, High (62 lbs), Slow, 198.3, 10.1
    Syn Gut Original 16, High (62 lbs), Slow, 214.9, 10.6
    That's what one would expect, but that's not the case. Isn't it nice to have actual data instead of supposition? : )

    I suppose you're unfamiliar with the power of marketing. Products don't succeed in the market because they're superior. They succeed because they're marketed well.

    Besides, most of us have seen that there are people trying to push certain strings/brands here because they're in the business of selling them. I'm not. I simply like to look at things others have missed, and have facts to back up my observations.

    Sometimes it takes a lot longer than 20 years for something to be recognized. The Tennis Warehouse data hasn't been around for 20 years.

    Besides, Dynamite Soft is brand new so you can try that out at if you like newness.
     
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  8. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Where can you even get Ashaway Dynamite Soft 18? I don't see it available anywhere.
     
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  9. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    Only, TW wants to be helpful, too; they don't neglect data that doesn't agree with theirs, and they remain aware of how they arrived at their numbers and what the limitations of the test methodology were. Here is the USRSA data I meant, anyhow:

    PSGD 16 213 12.04
    PSGD 17 212 10.69
    PSGD 18 203 11.51

    POSG 16 217 11.67
    POSG 17 214 10.59

    See, the opposite of stiff isn't *soft,* is it? It's *flexible,* which doesn't convey feel enough. Because of what I've said about the role string construction/composition has, stiff and hard--which is *soft's* actual opposite--aren't the same, no matter what the numbers say.

    In play, that would be...
     
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  10. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    I'm not going to go in circles again about stiffness and various words that people apply nebulously like "feel", "crispness", and "response". If you have questions about TW's data, contact the TW professor.
     
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  11. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    It is available, but Tennis Warehouse hasn't made it available yet.

    I won't say where it's available, because it's a competitor. I wonder what the holdup is at TW.
     
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  12. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    This isn't about "data" at all, it's about what it said. You treat TW's like it's not only sufficient but exhaustive--and that isn't what they claim for it, too. But it's still vulnerable to a claim that what's been measured is just what is currently measureable, not what's important for play in a racquet. How to relate it to that play is what one awaits, too, when it's problematic how it does. One can only speculate what purpose you serve, but the result when you prefer to bypass the limits of such research is, I'm afraid, pure propaganda.
     
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  13. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I can't address various mystical qualities of tennis strings that are either unmeasurable or haven't yet been measured.

    If you don't think the TW data is adequate, write to the TW professor.
     
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  14. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    Unfortunately, though, you've been more than willing to rely on one yourself--to wit, an ASSUMPTION that stiff, and soft, are the "opposites" that matter, and that they correlate, one to one....

    You also haven't been interested one whit in the limitations of the data case, which is not their fault, too; it's called misuse to make a point of your own...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
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  15. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    I'm completely uninterested in your awkward ad hominem attempts, in case you haven't noticed.
     
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  16. Uvijek Argen

    Uvijek Argen Semi-Pro

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    Centered ,

    Mate you are killing every thread with numbers and what not, let it go for once...seriously.

    All I want to read its experience by people on court with the strings.

    Bless you for your super knowledge and the knowledge of TW Tennis professor, but doesn't do anything for me or many others, so please...just let the numbers go, or maybe you can do your own threads.

    The last one that you did talking about Big hitter blue, nobody comment, cause the casual tennis player that like just a opinion of string, doesn't understand all those numbers.

    Im saying it with the best vibe...
     
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  17. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    I for one am happy seeing Centered's numbers. Sure the data doesn't tell you the whole story but it does give you an overwhelming lot of information.

    It does give the user tools to better understand strings and stringing. It doesn't help that almost all string brands describe their strings "soft and crisp".

    For me the numbers don't lie, but they also won't tell you the whole truth.
     
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  18. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    When all you provide is somebody else's numbers, attribute to them things they don't say and do, then change the subject when it is brought up how that is--well, good luck, when you aren't even doing justice, and act it, to those you represent as yourself.
     
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  19. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    The problem in this discussion has been, in case you missed it, how "soft" is claimed to be identified, then verified, through numbers that can't even be expected to convey that; less stiff isn't *softer,* it's more flexible.... This accounts for how strings that test as more flexible sometimes don't wind up actually feeling very soft.....

    The example I gave of POSG and PSG w/Duraflex can be expanded to others: Tecnifibre's XR3 and TGV, for example, which in my experience can feel the reverse of what their respective numbers say, Babolat's N.vy and Addiction which appear strangely soft when compared to strings of a similar class with lower stiffness numbers, to name just some.

    In each case, though, there is something about each string's composition and construction that could account for the experience they provide; these anomalies, for they are, just warrant further investigation to determine what's provided the feel they have... To name one, double-wrapping a string is a known means of producing that soft feel long identified with, oh, say, Prince's Synthetic Gut Soft, when out.

    When there's "nothing wrong with numbers," then surely there can't be anything wrong with knowing what they haven't been about, without treating that as something pointless to be concerned with; no researcher should...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
    #19
  20. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    If you can afford Gamma Pro, for $5 more try a cheap gut. I have tried Gamma Pro and still get some elbow discomfort that subsides whenever I switch to gut.
     
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  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It would be interesting to figure out why some strings feel stiffer than others when the RSI data would indicate they should feel pretty identical. My best example would be:

    Gosen OG Micro 17 (stiffness of "199")
    PSGD 16 (stiffness of "213")
    Gamma synthetic gut 16 (stiffness of "218")

    Had I never seen a stiffness rating, I would guess the Gamma was slightly softer than PSGD and that the Gosen was a fair amount stiffer which is completely opposite of what the numbers are supposed to tell us.
     
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  22. Jack2010

    Jack2010 New User

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    Try Alpha Gut 2000 in the 18 gauge version. That's supposed to be awfully soft.
     
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  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly! Good example.

    This is why, IMO, the RSI numbers DO lie.
     
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  24. Kcraig

    Kcraig Professional

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    Absolutely agree! As I mentioned in my earlier post--my 2 current setups feel completely opposite of what the stiffness ratings indicate:

    Max Touch 17g has a stiffness rating of 153
    Pacific Premium Power X 16g rating of 202. If hitting them totally blind, the Pacific actually feels as soft if not softer than the Max Touch--go figure:confused:
     
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  25. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    RSI? is that the site where u know who copies and pastes on this forum?
     
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  26. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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  27. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    What's the tension retention?

    What is the stiffness of those strings at low and medium reference tensions?

    You can find more information like that via the Tennis Warehouse data.

    If you or anyone else thinks the Tennis Warehouse testing is incorrect, I'm sure TW will be interested to see specifics -- with data to back up the claims.

    The RSI data is a good starting point, but TW's data does have a finer grain.
     
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  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Still does not add up and my elbow does not lie:

    Item String Reference Tension Swing Speed Stiffness (lb/in)
    1 Gamma Synthetic Gut 16 High (62 lbs) Fast 220.6

    2 OG Sheep Micro 17 High (62 lbs) Fast 183.5

    3 Synthetic Gut 16 Duraflex High (62 lbs) Fast 202.3
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
    #28
  29. Sublime

    Sublime Semi-Pro

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    String to string friction plays a big role in how a string feels. The less string to string friction there is the softer and more muted a string feels. The chemical composition of the string also plays a big role in how a string feels. The more rubber like material a string has in it, the more it self dampens and absorbs vibration, before it gets to your hand / elbow.
     
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  30. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I can buy into the string friction idea. The Gamma is the smoothest of those 3 strings and had the most string movement which probably had some dampening effect.
     
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  31. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Well can you email me: sstchur(at)yahoo(dot)com ?

    I'm interested in purchasing and while I like to give business to TW, I obviously can't purchase what they don't carry.
     
    #31
  32. folsfolsfols

    folsfolsfols Rookie

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    amen. this is what confused me and made me buy strings i didnt care for. the opposite of stiff isnt soft; its flexible. personally i dont care how a string feels as long as it does what i want it to do. i want it to be flexible. this is why i bought soft polys that didnt "play soft" at all. this is why opinions on here are not consistent. people use different words to describe the characteristics of a string
     
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  33. folsfolsfols

    folsfolsfols Rookie

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    maybe the reason people confuse the softness of a string with the flexibility of a string is because the softest strings available (natural gut) happen to be the most flexible strings too. same with synthetic gut strings. after all, they are supposed to "copy" natural gut
     
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  34. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    Softness and flexibility are the same thing. A rigid thing -- like Kevlar -- is hard, inflexible.

    If a person sits on concrete it's going to feel harder than a soft mattress because it's less flexible.
     
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  35. folsfolsfols

    folsfolsfols Rookie

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    what if you fall or jump on hard plastic? it will feel softer because it absorbs more energy but it wont return energy. no?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
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  36. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Here we go again:

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    When double-wrapping is expressly used to soften such a supposedly stiff string as Baboloat's N.vy, it can't be, to name merely one example...

    Pay attention more; here is TW's own Learning Center on the role string composition and construction routinely have played, and for you it can't be exaggerated enough, too: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/StringReference.html
     
    #37
  38. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I personally wouldn't just go by the numbers. You literally just have to string up a few racquets and really test them on the the courts. From my experiences looking for a soft multi that offers high performance and low cost while lasting a bit led me to TF MultiFeel. Not the softest string but overall suited my game and budget. The softest string I ever tried was TF TGV. I can't imagine anything being more comfortable, but cost was a factor and performance wasn't what I expected. Babolat XCel is a nice, soft, performance-oriented string but again there is the cost and for some reason it didn't offer too much control at reasonable tensions. IMO soft strings should also perform well at lower tensions. Bab N.Vy is interesting because it lasts a long time and costs very little, but again in my hands it suffers from a slight lack of control.

    Anyway, there you have a good starting list of various strings to try. It's fine to ask advice on a tennis forum, but be very careful not to treat that advice like doctrine. You have to validate very carefully anything you here on this forum, and on the Internet in general. IOW, don't drink the Kool-Aid just because someone else told you it will be perfect for you, even if the numbers match up.
     
    #38
  39. folsfolsfols

    folsfolsfols Rookie

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    i think soft means a string absorbs more energy but it doesnt say much about how much energy it returns.
    any physicists on here?
     
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  40. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    I'm not following you. Try to be clearer.
    If you have something specifically to quote, do so.
     
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  41. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    A soft string transmits less shock to the player. That's what makes it feel soft.

    And, no there are no physicists here, just a lot of poseurs who think they know more than the Engineering literature (like with the endless inane claims that there's a mystical quality called "crispness" that's not just synonymous with stiffness in any of its forms).
     
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