Sring reviews by Tennis Warehouse South Florida Chapter.

Discussion in 'Strings' started by drakulie, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Would like to start by thanking TW for sending the Tennis Warehouse South Florida Chapter (TWSF) several different newly available strings to demo and share our thoughts with all of you. Thanks Spencer!!

    Over the course of the next few weeks, some of the TWSF members including Panterka, Vincescourt, mdqm (AKA majic Man), FloridaAG, and myself (Drakulie) will be participating in the review of the following strings:

    Wilson Hollow Core 16
    Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.25
    Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.30
    Luxilon M2 Plus 16
    Luxilon M2 Pro 16 L


    So, stay tuned for the string demos as we get out on the court and give all these strings play tests, and provide all the reviews right here!! :)

    Click on the link below to be taken directly to the review you would like to read:

    Drakulie:
    [post=3162807]Wilson Hollow Core [/post]
    [post=3193875]Kirschbaum Spiky Shark, 1.25 [/post]
    [post=3178918]Kirschbaum Spiky Shark, 1.30 [/post]
    [post=3184400]Luxilon M2 Pro 16 L[/post]
    [post=3214266]Luxilon M2 Plus [/post]

    VincesCourt:
    [post=3164340]Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.25 [/post]

    Panterka
    [post=3173670]Luxilon M2 + 16[/post]
    [post=3198228]Wilson Hollow Core[/post]

    FloridaAG
    [post=3239544]Wilson Hollow Core[/post]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    First up, Wilson Hollow Core.
    Racquet: KPS88.
    Tension: 55 lbs

    The string is more on the soft side resulting in fairly easy stringing. I strung the frame at 55 lbs.

    This is the second time I have played with these strings, and although I really disliked the string on the first attempt, felt I should give them another shot. The string is neither soft, nor harsh feeling, rather somewhere in between. I feel this is a positive attribute for those who don’t like either end of the spectrum. However, feedback upon impact with the ball is fairly harsh, and “hollow” feeling. I suppose this is where they get the name. As a result, it is difficult to gauge whether or not one is hitting the sweet-spot, as nothing really feels like you hit the ball perfectly. This resulted in having a hard time controlling shots> Both depth, and direction.

    The power provided, along with spin is average at best. Of the two, it was easier to produce spin with the string than it was to get good pop. However, spin comes at a cost, as the string moves around quite a bit, and one has to adjust them after each rally. For those of you who don’t like straightening strings out, stay away, as this string really moves around quite a bit. Initially, the string retains tension, but after a few hours, it really starts to lose all playability, to the point I had to cut them out earlier than I would have liked. (Approx 3 hours of play.)

    Pros: Not too harsh, or too soft. Average power, above average spin. Easy to string.

    Cons: Very “hollow” feel, lose tension very quickly, hard to control shots. Loses all playability much too quickly. Durabaility is very low considering how bad the strings feel after a few hours.
     
  3. samster

    samster Legend

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    Thanks for the nice review on the Hollow Core 16. If you had to use this string again, would you go up on the tension?

    Also, what is your "preferred" setup on the KPS 88 at what tension?
     
  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Samster, **IF I HAD TO** use this string again, I'd probably go up in tension for sure. However, I hope **I NEVER HAVE TO USE THIS STRING AGAIN**. I really just didn't like it at all. Add to that the price, and this string gets a big thumbs down from me.
     
  5. buffalobill3

    buffalobill3 Rookie

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    Very good review, thanks.
     
  6. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    Interested to hear your take on the M2 strings. I think M2 Pro is a pretty decent string but not too big on M2 Plus.
     
  7. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope all is well with you up there in the cold, and your new found adventures in stringing is going well!

    I strung my frame last night with this string, and played with it today. 1 hour of drills and two practice sets. So far, very pleased with it. However, not sure if it is because I just came off the Hollow Core. Review will be up in a few days.
     
  8. Miami Tiburon

    Miami Tiburon Semi-Pro

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    Looking forward to the spiky shark review.Overheard one of the local shops in Miami recommending this string to a customer.
     
  9. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the write-up drakulie. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking forward to the FL crew's feedback on these strings.

    (Now if we could only get TW Europe to send some to us in the Paris chapter to test on red clay in time for Roland Garros...ah, ce serait le paradis!):p
    - along with samster, I'd also like to know what your preferred string and tension has been in the KPS88 so we have a reference in this thread. I'm sure you may have posted it elsewhere, but try as we might, can't read all your posts... ;)
     
  10. blackfrido

    blackfrido Hall of Fame

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    Drakulie,

    I can't wait for Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.25, I'm thinking to try it on my own but I'll wait for your review!
     
  11. Luminous

    Luminous Rookie

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    Excellent Review drakulie. Thanks:) I'll be interest in your thoughts on the Luxilon M2 Plus 16
     
  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hey Steve!

    My preferred set-up on the kps88 is sort of a mystery. Ever since I first played with the frame, I have been reviewing different strings, and expirementing with the whole cusomization (for the fun of it), and posting step by step of what we have done. Therefore, I really haven't had a chance to play the frame with my preferred set-up, which is the Luxilon rough , and the pro supex maxim touch I was using in the microgel prestige mid. That said, I have played with the followoing strings in the kps88:

    Hollow-core (twice), Sensations, Luxilon Big Banger original, Gosen Synthetic, Wilson k-Gut pro, Luxilon BBO/Gosen (hybrid), Spiky Shark (1.30), Lux M2 Pro.

    Of these strings, I really enjoyed the Luxilon BBO at 57lbs the most.

    However, again please keep in mind I have yet had the chance to play with the frame with the Lux Rough, or the Pro Supex Maxim Touch.

    If you would like to do a review of these strings, call me because I believe I have one more set of these remaining. Would be nice to include you in the reviews.

    This review will be up in a few days.
     
  13. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Good morning, Drak. (Afternoon where you are, I guess!)

    It's great that you and your mates are doing these reviews.

    Just curious, what tension would you use for Maxim Touch in the K88?
     
  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Personally, being one that likes a tighter stringbed, I'd start at 60 and go from there.
     
  15. Vincescourt

    Vincescourt New User

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    Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.25
    KPro Tour
    Tension 57

    I found the string to have a good combination of control with above average of power. Spin was easy to produce as this is a textured string. It is also a soft poly which makes it easier to string. It is a solid string but if i were to use it again i would string it at a higher tension.
    I found it easy to produce power with this string, i didn't have to take a real hard cut at the ball to get good pace on the shot. As far as spin this is where this string shines, i was able keep my slices very low and penetrating, my topspin shots were getting more action than normal, kick serves were just jumping off the court.
    I compare this string to a softer version of Pro Hurricane Tour. Playability is very good but durability is an issue. Being a soft textured poly the string tends to start notching pretty quickly also the string does lose tension rather quickly i noticed after the first day that the string bed had more of a trampoline effect on the ball and i had to adjust my swing accordingly.Control was good before the string started to lose its tension, i could pretty much slice, dip,loop the ball with good accuracy with little effort until the tension loss. Strings do not move much if at all.

    In short it is a solid string with excellent spin potential and above average power. Durability and tension maintenance are an issue but as i said before i would string it at a higher tension if i would use this string again. This string a great alternative for someone who likes poly strings but doesn't want the traditional harsh poly feel.



    Pros. Good feel, excellent spin, above average power,excellent control,

    Cons. Durability, string tension loss

    Last but not least i would like to thank the Godfather of TW drakulie for giving me the opportunity to test these strings and letting me share my views on the strings.

    PS. I will not be doing a review of the Hollow Core as i will not string any of my racquets with that junk!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^Thanks for the review. Since Hollow Core is out of the question,,,,what's next??? :)
     
  17. Vincescourt

    Vincescourt New User

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    Since i used the Kirschbaum 1.25 already i was wondering if Panterka would mind modeling the Luxilon M2 1.25 instead :twisted: i would never ask her to wear the Hollow Core as she would break out in hives.
     
  18. tenis

    tenis Professional

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    Drakulie, thanks for the great reviews.
    Why did you pick THIS strings? I just don't get it........?
     
  19. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    tenis, I chose to do a review of the Hollow Core first, because I had already used it once. My experience was so bad, I felt I should give it another shot.

    That said, I'll be doing a review of the other strings as well, as will the other members. I should have the review of the spiky shark, and lux m2 up by this weekend.
     
  20. panterka

    panterka New User

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    Luxilon M2+ 16 Review

    String: Luxilon M2 Plus 16
    Racquet: Babolat Pure Drive Team (cortex)
    Tension: 55 lbs


    I’ve been using the string since Saturday (3/21/09), playing everyday about 2 hours.

    The Luxilon M2 Plus 16 is a very soft string on impact, and feels really comfortable. When striking the ball the strings “pocket” the ball giving me good control over shots, making it easier to achieve spin and power. There is very good proportion between the power and spin achieved. The string does not move, staying all the time in the same position what making it really comfortable. Tension retention is above average. I haven’t noted a big difference in tension loss between the first day of playing than now.

    Overall, I would recommend this string. It has good power and spin. Pockets the ball very well, resulting in very good control. The strings don’t move a lot, and it doesn’t have noticeable tension loss.
     
  21. Sup2Dresq

    Sup2Dresq Hall of Fame

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    Had a Drak moment.

    Saw the topic heading and thought.. is this Drak's Austin Powers way of talking about girls.... Sring = Schwing!

    Was sad to see he meant String.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL. had to be you, huh??? Yeah, BABY!!!!!
     
  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for this review. I'm thinking of giving this string a try.

    Can anyone compare it to Blue Gear or Hextreme or MSV Hex in terms of spin?
     
  24. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Drak.,

    Where you using maxim touch and lux rough as a hybrid ? If so were you using the lux in the mains? What tension?:)
     
  25. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hey, Murray. No, I was not using these strings as a hybrid. When I was using the Microgel Prestige Mid, I was either stringing it with Lux Rough, or Pro Supex Maxim Touch. Both great strings. becuase of all the expirementing going on, and now demoing the strings for TW, I haven't had a chance to string the kps88 with either. sorry about that. :(
     
  26. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Drak,

    What does Maxim Touch play like? What would you compare it with ?

    Thanks
     
  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^Murray, the Pro Supex play very similar to a natural gut string, but a bit stiffer. It plays very well all the way until it breaks, and holds tension fairly well. Nice all around feel with good spin and power potential.
     
  28. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Review of kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.30

    kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.30
    Racquet: KPS88.
    Tension: 60 lbs

    For those of you who have used the Luxilon Rough, you will find a familiar feel in the Kirschbaum Spiky Shark (1.30). The string, although one would think plays harsh because of it's characrerietics when stringing, is pleasantly soft feeling. It has a good "cupping" of the ball on impact, and although it doesn't have a lot of "give", it does not have a trampoliine feel. Very good solid feel, which results in not only comfort, especially for a poly, but produces more than adequate power and spin.

    The Spiky Shark has a sort of octagon shape to it, which results in added bite/spin to the ball. In comparison to the Rough, the Spiky Shark shines when producing spin. Along with the comfort, this is the main strength of the string. My normal strokes were producing heavier spinning shots (BH, FH, serves). I would rate it just below the Rough in this category.

    Ther added spin allows one to really let loose on shots, knowing the ball will drop back in. Of course, for those not use to this result, they will have to adjust their swings accordingly to compensate, as their shots may end up landing short because of the added spin.

    The power provided, is a bit above average. Nothing flashy here. Then again, being able to take a bigger cut at the ball with the string, knowing the spin will bring it back in, one could say it has above average power.

    Like most other poly strings, this one has minimal movement, which I find to always be a good thing. My fingers are thanking me after each rally. :) String tension is somewhat average. You initially have a "settling in period", where you lose a little bit of tension, and then the strings stay relatively at the same tenion for approximately 6 hours of play. After that, their is noticeable loss, resulting in a hard time controlling shots. Shortly, after the strings broke on me. Although the strings retained their feel all the way to breakage, the dramatic tension loss made it hard to control shots. Durability was below average.


    Pros: Soft feeling poly. Comfortable feel. Great spin potential.

    "So-So": Fairly easy to string. Above average power.

    Cons: Loses tension too quickly, and durability is below average.
     
  29. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    Great write up

    Great write-up drakulie. Esp appreciate breaking this down into spin, power, tension maintenance, durabilty, etc.

    How much time do you get out of the ALU Rough for this stage?

    Any comparisons you could make with other Kirschbaum string : SS Spiky, Competition or P2 would be appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  30. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    i dont understand something. When someone reviews a string and says that it doesnt have good power. cant that be solved just by lowering the tension?
     
  31. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hey Steve. Thanks, glad you are getting something out of the reviews. As for comparing it to the alu rough, the Rough lasts a bit longer>>> I would say in the range of approx 12 hours. However, keep in mind, the Rough also begins to lose tension, and the string itself begins to wear out, resulting in less spin production.

    haven't played with any other kirschbaum, however, I will be reviewing the 1.25 as well. Vincescourt already did a review of that string, and I coudl tell you he is a phenomenal player. he is a frequent hitting partner of top juniors, as well a female in the top 200.


    ronalditop. This is somewhat of a myth. Dropping tension from say 60 to 50 lbs, **may** result in approximately 1 more mph on shots. What dropping tension actually does, and where one could really see/feel the effects is in the ball leaving the string bed at a higher trajectory, resulting in a deeper ball.

    I once strung a frame (PS85) at nearly 70 lbs, and with a radar device checked the speed of the serve. I then did the same with a PS85 strung nearly 20 lbs looser, and the speed was nearly identical.
     
  32. jhp49

    jhp49 Rookie

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    Great reviews. When you discuss tension loss, is it subjective feel or are you monitoring string bed tension before and after hitting with a device such as an ERT 300?

    JHP
     
  33. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Great point. I've actually been monitoring the tenision loss with a string meter. However, never wrote it down, and made more of a mental note. Looking back, I probably should have done this with all my play tests, and provided these measurements. Tension loss, especially immediately before breakage on the last strings was approx 12 lbs. However, for the first few hits, was minimal (about 2-5 lbs).

    I should also note I've been stringing the frame with a 3-box pattern, and also a Pro Pattern taught to me by the poster, Geoff. These patterns seem to hold tension all around the string bed longer than a conventional one or two piece patter, which typically result in tension loss much quicker. The string patterns I mentioned provide a more uniform string bed.
     
  34. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Drak- I have used both Lux Rough and Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 1.3 and have to say they felt completely different. The lux felt crisper and less muted, and had better control than the Spiky Shark. The Spiky Shark was much softer and had way better feel.

    I strung them both at 53 lbs so perhaps they play differently up at 60 lbs (I'd never string a poly up there for fear of losing my elbow)?
     
  35. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^Hey, jrod.I suppose the differing experiences could be attributed to the frame being used, the user, and last but not least as you pointed out the tension.

    In my experience with the Rough, it plays **much** softer at lower tensions, and produces much more spin than when stringing a bit tighter. I actually pointed this out when I reviewed the Rough in my Microgel Prestige Mid Thread.

    That said, I felt both strings played similar, however, prefer the Lux Rough.
     
  36. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Agree. I used these strings in both a k90 and Fischer Mpro #1 98, all at low 50's. I prefer the performance of the Lux but I really enjoyed the feel of the Kirsh SS.
     
  37. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Review of Luxilon M2 Pro 16 L

    Luxilon M2 Pro 16 L
    Racquet: KPS88.
    Tension: 60 lbs

    This string was a pleasure to use, from the time I strung the frame to the time it broke. Only big con would be the durability. As noted, the string was fairly easy to manipulate when stringing. Not too harsh, as a poly usually is. The feel on impact is very responsive. One gets a nice crisp feel that is not too harsh, and is fairly gentle on the arm.

    I was able to produce very good spin, as well as flatten out shots. The power was also there, where one doesn't have to overly labor. The string produces whatever type of shot you need. All-around, this string could be enjoyed by a large variety of players; from players who want a softer ride, to those who like a crisp feel at contact. The string delivers both. Add to that, the string produces above average spin, and power, and Luxilon has a winner. In all, this string will benefit a very wide audience of players.

    Movement, like most poly stings is minimal. As for string tension, the tension held up all the way until the strings snapped, as well as the feel and performance of the string. Very minimal tension loss. However, please note the following "disclaimer": the strings broke on me after only 5 hours of play. I played with this string for 2 hours, then the next day 2 hours, and on the third day they broke before the end of the first hour. These days were filled with drilling (FH, BH, Volleys, Serves/returns, and playing at least one set. )


    Pros: Great all around string for power, spin, comfort, feedback. performance from time of stringing to breakage, tension retention.


    Cons: Durability is well below what average.
     
  38. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Wow - that is pretty fast to break for a poly. Was that in the KPS 88?
     
  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yup, in the kps88. Broke smack-dab in the middle of the string bed. By the way, when you get a chance give me a call so I could give you some string to demo.
     
  40. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    ...Wow, drakulie : breaker of ladies' hearts... and string. :razz:

    Were there any warning signs or did it simply blow? Bad set? Anyone else among you have the same experience? At 20 bucks a pop...

    Did it feel like a poly during your hitting? Any other string that comes closest to the feel?

    Thanks for getting these reviews up!
     
  41. SOY78

    SOY78 Semi-Pro

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    Drak,
    My M2 Pro dropped tension like no other string that I've tried. Tension on my C10PT was 57#. 1st day was good and the rest of the days, tension dropped and power went all over the place. I did like this string for doubles though. Good pop, control and touch on the volleys.
     
  42. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    I'll try to call you tomorrow - maybe I can swing by on my way home tomorrow evening (I have to pick up some frames at Match Point tomorrow anyway)
     
  43. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Review of Spiky Shark 1.25

    Spiky Shark 1.25
    Racquet: KPS88.
    Tension: 60 lbs

    I'm going to echo everything Vincescourt has already said about this string with the following additions:

    The string lasted me well under 8 hours of play when it snapped. Additionally, in my case, the string held it's tension very well until about the last hour when it really became much softer, and as a result much harder to control the depth of shots.

    Note the following:

    1. I have been using a Pro Pattern taught to me by, Geoff from the boards. This pattern, as evidenced by a few of us on the boards agree it holds the tension of strings much longer than a regular one piece string job.

    2. I have noticed this frame (kps88) is a big time string eater. It goes thru strings rather quickly, so your experience with the string may be a bit different, and the string may last you longer before it snaps.

     
  44. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    Drak - what is this "Pro Pattern" ? Is there a reference to it somewhere? Just curious how it goes.
     
  45. buffalobill3

    buffalobill3 Rookie

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    drakulie

    I'd like to know about the pro pattern too and how it feels.

    B. Bill
     
  46. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    jamauss, buffalobill3,,,,,,, here is the link with instructions.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3145680&postcount=2567

    I was lucky enough to speak to, and then meet Geoff this wekeend. Great guy, incredible nationally ranked player, and knows ** A LOT** about stringing.

    Good luck. If you are unsure about anything with the pattern, ask geoff, and he will respond to you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  47. buffalobill3

    buffalobill3 Rookie

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    drak

    Thanks for the pattern, I'll string a racquet with it later this week.
     
  48. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    Location:
    Nueva York
    Gracias drak (and Geoff)! I suspect this is the pattern that one of our renowned stringers on the boards used on my racquets when I lived near enough to send them to him for stringing. Incredibly solid with outstanding tension maintenance... and tie-offs at the crosses.

    ...now all I need is a stringing machine.:idea::rolleyes:
     
  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,464
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    You are welcome. Let us know if you feel a difference.

    Yeah, this pattern has many similarities to a 3 box pattern, which I have found to hold tension much longer that a regular one piece. Also, if done correctly, it results in a more uniform string bed. ie, everywhere on the string bed, the results are whatever tension you set it at, as opposed to a regular one piece, where one may experience places on the string bed that are lower in tension.

    The pattern provided by, Geoff, is similar to a 3 box, holds tension in the same way, and for an added bonus>>> the tie-offs are on the crosses, rather than on the mains.
     
  50. panterka

    panterka New User

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Ft.Lauderdale
    String: Wilson Hollow Core 16
    Racquet: Babolat Pure Drive
    Tension: 55 Lbs
    I used the string for about 2 weeks. Wilson Hollow Core was a soft string and at the beginning very comfortable for me to use. It has a few aspects, which were making me unhappy about the string.
    1. I don’t like to feel the string moving on the racquet when I’m hitting the ball. This string really moves around quite a lot, making this aspect uncomfortable.
    2. The durability as it relates to performance, is not as good as the overall durability of the string before it breaks. The performance of the string lasted about 1 week.
    3. The spin on the ball both at the beginning and after few times of using was a bit below average.
    The string at the beginning was giving me very good control and very good power on all my shots. But, after 1 week of playing I felt that it lost a lot of tension thus making it hard to control the ball.
    So in summary I have to say that I liked the string the first week of using but after few days of playing I changed my opinion about it because of a lot of tension loss.
    Do I recommend it?? Not sure. Everybody likes different things, so one would need to try it for themselves. :)
     

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