structured/shaped polys playtest

Discussion in 'Strings' started by fgs, May 20, 2011.

  1. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=f287615ab811974e&resid=F287615AB811974E!122

    i have not had much experience with structured or shaped strings, as i am (still) of the opinion that 95% of the spin you manage to put on the ball comes from your technique, maybe 3% from the stringpattern and the rest, which is only 2% in my take comes from the string. i only had two experiences with structured strings before and the shape wore down within 30-45 minutes. so, maybe wrongly, i assumed that it is not worth the hassle. as i’m reading more and more about “monster-spin-strings” (from boardmembers and not from the advertising and promotion the companies run!), i have decided to give it a more thorough try and find out what all this buzz is about. about half the strings mentioned are already “in house” and over the coming weeks and months i will be purchasing the ones that are still missing.

    i play the strings in my slightly modded mantis 300 frames (100 sq.inches, 70 RA unstrung, 16 x 19 pattern, leaded to balance point at 34cm which would be about 1pt hl, 335g static, with leather grip, no overgrip). my reference set-up is mantis power poly 17 in the mains at 22kg (approx. 48lbs.) and mantis power synthetic 17 in the crosses at 21kg (approx. 46lbs.). this is a hybrid i have played for the most part of the last 12 months, which i enjoy thoroughly. i am a quite heavy topspin hitter, two handed backhand, but i do also play quite frequently slices (one handed) and dropshots. i’m 46, playing competitively in my age group and have been around the courts for 40 years now.
    upon "recalibration" i have gone down in tensions as well (see post #61) -the reference set-up is mantis power poly at 21kg (46lbs) and mantis comfort synthetic at 21kg (46lbs).

    i will play the strings till they break (after all this is the only way to determine durability), and besides gradings from 1 (very bad) to 10 (very good) i will also try to describe the hitting experience.

    new grading systems as explained in http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7995412&postcount=177

    24/25 - ashaway monogut zx 1.27 (@23kg) / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 (@22kg)
    24/25 - kirschbaum helix 1.20 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8195341&postcount=201
    24/25 - mantis power polyester 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6092658&postcount=76
    23/25 - genesis twisted razor 1.27 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6587817&postcount=118
    23/25 - polyfibre black venom rough 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30
    23/24 - solinco tour bite 1.20 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7863607&postcount=170
    22/25 - kirschbaum competition 1.20 (@21.5kg) / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 (@21kg)
    22/25 - topspin ferox trianglestring 1.27 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8303103&postcount=206
    22/25 - tecnifibre ruff code 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6225605&postcount=82
    22/25 - luxilon alu power rough 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7444663&postcount=149
    21/25 - kirschbaum helix 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=9386296&postcount=221
    21/25 - weiss-cannon turbotwist 1.24 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=9369409&postcount=220
    21/25 - solinco outlast 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30
    21/25 - solinco tour bite 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7037484&postcount=126
    21/25 - dunlop revolution nt 1.31 / 1.25 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8799827&postcount=215
    21/25 - polystar strike 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8759326&postcount=213
    21/25 - tourna big hitter blue rough 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8068780&postcount=180
    21/25 - gamma moto 1.24 (black) / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7796735&postcount=164
    20/25 - solinco tour bite soft 1.30 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7900834&postcount=171
    20/25 - solinco revolution 1.20 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7759274&postcount=161
    20/25 - luxilon adrenaline rough 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7517876&postcount=151
    20/25 - luxilon alu power 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30
    20/25 - pro supex blue gear 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=9075870&postcount=216
    20/25 - topspin sensus squarestring 1.27 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8320067&postcount=209
    19/25 - pro's pro blackout 1.24 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6225347&postcount=81
    19/25 - tourna big hitter silver rough 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7995622&postcount=178
    19/25 - tyger rough poly 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7179349&postcount=134
    19/25 - weiss cannon black5edge 1.24 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7037501&postcount=127
    19/25 - tecnifibre black code 1.24 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6371855&postcount=91
    18/25 - tecnifibre black code 4s 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30
    structured/shaped polys playtest
    17/25 - genesis typhoon 1.26 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6625357&postcount=122
    17/25 - solinco tour bite soft 1.20 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7849357&postcount=167
    17/25 - solinco barbwire 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7772141&postcount=162
    17/25 - luxilon savage black 1.27 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7653505&postcount=157
    17/25 - dyreex black edge 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7939766&postcount=174
    17/25 - luxilon original rough 1.30 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7693066&postcount=160
    17/25 - luxilon alu power spin 1.27 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7490477&postcount=150
    17/25 - pro supex blue gear ultra spin 1.23 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=9105678&postcount=217
    17/25 - tourna black 7 17ga. (1.20-1.25mm) / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8112431&postcount=199
    17/25 - pro supex black fusion 1.28 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=9252978&postcount=219
    16/25 - kirschbaum black shark 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7101538&postcount=133
    16/25 - gamma moto 1.29 (lime) / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7233848&postcount=135
    16/25 - topspin culex octastring 1.27 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8287598&postcount=205
    16/25 - msv focus hex +25 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7786722&postcount=163
    14/25 - polystar turbo 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8723121&postcount=212
    13/25 - solinco revolution 1.25 / solinco tru-feel 1.30 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6061447&postcount=60





    polyfibre black venom rough 1.25mm
    i have started the test series with the polyfibre black venom rough which had a good two hours of practice today and will be seeing a “real” opponent tomorrow. it was a quite enjoyable ride and i’m confident about the game tomorrow, in spite of being a new string. plays quite close to my go-to setup, so there’s really no big need to adapt. this is particularly weird when you look at twu’s stiffness figures and energy return figures, which should have the mantis power poly and the polyfibre black venom almost at opposite ends.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015 at 1:58 PM
    #1
  2. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i'm now well into five hitting hours with the set-up and it has been strung about a week ago. i can't feel any tension drop so far, the stringbed still behaves as on the first outing three days ago. i played about 4 hours light practice sessions and two rather short matches (less than an hour for a double bagel in singles and a doubles we won in two short sets).

    the structure starts to wear down but i still get good action on the ball, the kickers have been jumping up high. the combination is really very touchy - i played some really wicked droppers. i have the feeling that i get my topspins dipping a little bit more than with my regular set-up.
    i'll report back on tension maintenance and durability and how the playability stays over the time span, but so far it has been a really enjoyable ride, as i would have "suspected" from a soft string. what is positive about it is that i have passed the five hours mark without the "second" drop in tension, as i have experienced with the other "soft" strings (isospeed baseline, isospeed pulse, kirschbaum pro line II - which admittedly occured around the 7hrs mark!).
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #2
  3. rodrigoamaral

    rodrigoamaral Hall of Fame

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    You are making me really want try the venom rough..may have to pull the trigger this week
     
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  4. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    by the end of this week, after another two hitting sessions i can tell more.

    i have learned to be patient in my assessments. i have come across strings that played incredibly well for the first three-four hours and then developed into a complete catastrophy, losing all the resiliency and becoming not even a rocket launcher but having gone completely dead. while i still am of the opinion that those strings are exceptional for a player with a much smaller time window (or one who could afford to restring every 3-4 hours), i have to look after myself and basically my son (who's 12 and promising), and we both have definitely longer time windows (his will definitely go down as he gets older).

    and i have another lot of strings to test, but by coincidence i seem to have chosen to start with one that has the potential to be outstanding. if it only doesn't go dead - so far no signs in this direction, but who knows. i have read what others have commented (for instance parasailing) and really hope this does not happen. it has been a very enjoyable hit so far and i truly wish it to continue.

    what i found amazing nevertheless is that the figures tw-university provided for the regular balck venom and the mantis power poly are almost at the opposite ends. take stiffness for the black venom at 189 as opposed to the mantis at 241 or energy return for the black venom at 85.6% and for the mantis at 90.8%, both at medium tensions and medium swingspeed. when playing you don't really feel it at all, in the sense that the mantis feels much softer, almost comparably with the black venom.

    of course, i hybrid it, and the crosses i use do soften up the stringbed a bit, but then it's the same crosses on both.

    regarding energy return - i'm getting about the same lenghth on the balls without having to adjust at all. remember that i got into an official match with this string after only two hours of light practice (with my son), as i felt completely confident and had no need to change anything, like putting more spin on the ball to keep it in court, etc.

    there has to be something in the dynamic behaviour of these strings that either can't be measured or nobody has come up with the idea of a measurement. for instance the luxilon adrenaline, a string i also like and have played a while (not much, because i find it too stiff for my son), has lower stiffness readings than the mantis, but plays much stiffer, even in the 1.20mm diameter i have tried.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #4
  5. pepka

    pepka Semi-Pro

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    You're going full poly or still doing MCS x?
     
    #5
  6. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i'm doing mantis POWER synthetic crosses, always strung at 21kg. it's the cross string i have mostly played the past year, so that i'm more used to it. i love the mcs, as quite often stated, but i'm too lazy to string after every 6-7 hrs.
     
    #6
  7. pepka

    pepka Semi-Pro

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    ^ cool. I'll be checking this thread often :)
     
    #7
  8. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    polyfibre black venom rough

    i'm through with this string after approx. 12 hitting hours. i've strung it up on may 16th and the string was still playable until it broke. there was also a very hot and humid day where i wished i had strung it 0.5kg higher than i did.

    i do really like this string - period.

    on a scale from 1(very bad) to 10(very good) i'd rate it as follows:
    power - 9
    control - 9
    touch - 9
    tension maintenance - 9
    spin - 10
    comfort - 10
    durability - 9

    a really very good string, nice and comfy to play, giving a good blend of power, spin and control and basically coming in a very close second to the mantis power polyester, the latter scoring a little bit different as you can see in my first post.

    the profile started to wear down in the 7th-8th hour but spin was still o.k., so the balls were not sailing on me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #8
  9. rodrigoamaral

    rodrigoamaral Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the full review on the polyfibre black venom rough.. just strung it up and so far, so good!
     
    #9
  10. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i think that there is something i forgot to mention - string movement. i am a heavy topspin hitter so basically i have been adjusting strings all my tennis life and it has gotten something that does not bother me a lot. on the other hand i haven't come across any string that does not move at all - the black venom started moving more (not excessively) around the 9 hour mark. this is also the case with the mantis power poly, or with basically any other poly i have played, shaped, structured or plain. the point is that the black venom rough did not lose playability as it started moving around a little bit more and the misalignment was neither excessive nor extreme (two mains almost touching).

    i have seen that there are lots of people who regard this as an important point, so i thought it is worth mentioning, even if it does not bother me - at the level it happened! if it would have been extreme i would have mentioned it anyway, because then it interferes with stroking precision and it really becomes an issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #10
  11. john blackman

    john blackman New User

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    A Question about Mantis

    Have you tried the Mantis Power Syn. by itself. I like the Mantis Confort but looking for a little more pop and the Power seems like a natural upgrade to me.

    Thanks
     
    #11
  12. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    yes, i know the mantis power syn very well as it is my standard cross string. it is more durable than the comfort syn, due to the different construction, feels a little bit crisper and has more power and control than the comfort syn, but less touch. tension loss is also slightly better, in the sense that the initial tension loss is lower. once stabilized, both strings are outstanding.

    personally i'd prefer the comfort syn over the power syn but as i'm not willing to restring every 6-7 hitting hours, i've gone with the power syn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #12
  13. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    oehms black pearl rough extreme 1.23mm

    next up is the oehms black pearl rough extreme 1.23mm, a string i got from 'stringforum' in order to test and file a report. it is a string with a longitudinal profile which is then twisted. strung it up 0.5kg higher and after two hours of light practice i came to the conclusion that i shouldn't have gone higher from my usual 22kg. the comparison is not fair to the black venom rough as there is a huge difference in price, the oehms one retailing in europe for 40 euro/200m reel. the string is stiffer than the polyfibre.

    nevertheless i dialled in on the higher stringbed stiffness, get good spin and control, power is good when hitting the sweetspot, on offcentershots i wished i wouldn't have put that 0.5kg on top. the first impression is really good - we'll see how it does on the tension maintenance sector.

    the profile does really "shave" the balls, but i don't find that i get more spin with it than i got from the black venom rough, which in turn was somewhat better than the mantis power polyester.

    i'm still looking for that "spin-monster" to show up, but i'm sure that in the end it will still be the 95% the player puts in and the material (stick/string/tension) accounting for the remainder.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #13
  14. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    oehms black pearl rough extreme 1.23mm

    after about 4 hitting hours the string snapped but not as it happens in most of the cases at the top of the hoop due to a mishit but at the bottom of the hoop. it was not the string i tied the crosses/knots off and i would rather tend to exclude tha probability that i damaged it while clamping it off. the grommet is in perfect shape too, so this is really something that never ever happened to me, nore have i seen happen to others.

    i will therefore not give the final marks for this string but after 4 hitting hours (2 light ones practicing with my son, a quick singles with a little more speed on the balls and today a heavy hitting contest with a much younger lad which lasted only for half an hour until the string snapped) i can make the following statements:

    power - when hitting the sweetspot it is decent, when hitting slightly offcenter is is below average. most probably will be rated at 7

    control - not very much. you have to control your shots with spin but due to the low power level you will likely exaggerate and will start having directional issues. most probably will be rated at 6.

    feel - below average. taking into regard that after about 3 hours the string lost a lot of tension and was on the verge of dying, the feel went with it. most probably will be rated at 6.

    tension maintenance - below average. there was considerable tension loss after the first two hours of hitting which lead to the control issues described above. most probably will be rated at 5.

    spin - not overwhelming. decent amount, maybe slightly more than with a regular poly, but nothing really impressive. most probably will be rated at 8. this is one rating that might be changed because after 3 hitting hours the profile started to wear off in the sweetspot, and the amount of rpms was getting lower. bear in mind that i already said that you have to change your swingpath in order to control the ball with spin, so i'd rather say that the initial "slightly more spin than with a regular poly" comes from this and not from the profile.

    comfort - the string, in spite of being quite soft played somewhat hard and gave me slight tension in the wrist (!) - no pain. i usually get problems with the shoulder but this time, probably because of the additional spin needed to control the ball i overdid my wristaction. will most probably be rated at 5.

    durability - this is something i cannot estimate else but according to the notching. having gone through about a quarter of the diameter, i would not expect this one to last more than 8-9 hitting hours, which is not really good. the mix i play now (of practice with my son and harder hitting league matches) should get me rather to 10-12 hours.

    i will string up the other half left and this time i will string it at 22kg mains, my regular tension. at 22.5 it was rather stiff, so i might go down. i'll report back with my final conclusions.

    this string is said to be identical to discho black mamba gear twisted. the only thing i can confirm is that it looks the same and the diameters 1.23 and 1.27 are available from both producers/brands. in europe the price point is identical too, but as long as i have not played them both i will not make any claims about this.

    have gone through the second set-up of the 1.23mm gauge after the first one broke. i assume that i somehow got used to it and adjusted, so i will have slightly higher final grades. that is:
    power - 7
    control - 7
    feel - 7
    tension maintenance - 6
    spin - 8
    comfort - 7
    durability - 7,
    giving an overall of 49 points.

    i must admit that i was hoping for a better performance. i am perfectly aware that this is basically a cheap string, selling for 40 euro/200m reel here n europe, but according to some reviews i read on the stringforum i was quite keen to try it out. it does not blend well with my playing style, as i do hit excentric and therefore i need what "torres" calls a linear response. i need a string that still gets some juice on the ball, CONTROLLABLE!!! juice, when hitting in the upper third of the stringbed, and this one does not deliver.

    the profile wearing down pretty quickly is also an issue. i have experienced this with the other strings as well, but not after such a short time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #14
  15. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    pro's pro blackout 1.24

    i have completed the report on the oehms string, i have basically tested the 1.23mm and the 1.27mm diameters, the thicker one having basically worse grades in every aspect with the exception of durability, so that i decided not to mention it separately in the survey.

    next up is the blackout from pro's pro, a pentagonally shaped black string sporting a 1.24mm diameter. stringing was no problem and it does really feel quite crisp. i have so far played a doubles match with it and i feel much better with it than with the oehms strings. we'll see how it performs in the "long run".
     
    #15
  16. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    I'm just curious as to what level player you are?
     
    #16
  17. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i am not familiar with the ntrp level and in the mean time i'm moving towards 47, but in my younger years i have played in the second division in austria and have been amongst the top 100 (in austria obviously!). last year i have won the +45 nationals in romania, but the competitional level at the seniors tournaments is not really high there currently.
     
    #17
  18. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one. I have two sets myself but not got around to trying it yet. My guess is it will prove to bea good main string for a baseline orientated spin game.
     
    #18
  19. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    Here are the rating levels so you'll know when people say 4.0 where they fall into these categories.

    http://tennisclub.gsfc.nasa.gov/tennis.ratings.html
     
    #19
  20. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    glenk,
    thank you for that info - i must then be around a 5.0 in this case. 25 years ago i was nationally ranked but that's a long time ago and yes, i do still take the ball early and can hit some winners off shorter balls on both wings. even with a bad shoulder i can still hit every now and then an ace, but i rather go for kickers as that is less stress on the shoulder. age will have definitely decreased my level, so i should probably be somewhere around a 5.0 i assume.

    after winning the nationals in romania last year i had an itf ranking at the seniors (around 230 if i'm not wrong), but now i don't play tournaments so often since i'm basically coaching my son and we attend tournaments quite often.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #20
  21. 2kJosh

    2kJosh New User

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    Too many numbers my brain cant handle it
     
    #21
  22. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i tried to put up some info you can get from tw university regarding the strings i'm going to test - i just don't manage to get these numbers organized properly, so that it does really look like a mess and is very difficult to follow.

    if someone can possibly tell me how to put those numbers in a table i'd be very grateful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    #22
  23. ben123

    ben123 Professional

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    lol at this

    n btw fgs nice rewies :) good thread keep it going
     
    #23
  24. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    pro's pro blackout 1.24mm - update

    i have passed the five hitting-hours mark with this pentagonally shaped string and must say that i am really surprised - it is a crisp playing string, which has not lost tension (so far!), giving good control and decent spin. in spite of being stiffer than the previously played oehms-strings, it performs predictable on off-center-shots and still gets some juice on the balls. power level is moderate, but basically the way i like it - i'm a controlled power freak, i don't like to bring down the fences!:)

    it is not a spin monster! i think i'm rather going to find nessie (you know the loch ness monster) than a spinny string that will live up to the hype. it gives decent spin and, interestingly, the edges have not considerably worn down.

    considering the price these get sold in europe, this is a really interesting string. even if it would become unplayable within the next five minutes, getting 5 decent hitting hours out of it at roughly 30 euro/reel (incl. shipping) is already a top performance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    #24
  25. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    pro's pro blackout 1.24mm

    i'm through with this string now and i must admit that i'm to a certain extent impressed. the power is decent, on offcentershots it behaves very "civilized" and controlled, there's still some juice coming through, the feel is above average for a poly and excellent for such a cheap one (this was one of the most surprising things!), tension maintenance is almost incredible.

    i have to say that around the 8hrs mark the string started feeling dead, but it was still controllable and there was no need to "overhit", it just lost out on that crisp touch it had until then.

    comfort is decent for a poly, it's not harsh but of course i've seen better (but most at at least double if not triple the price), and durability is just as good as the others, i got around 10 hitting hours out of it until it broke.

    it is pentagonally shaped and supposed to deliver spin. i must confess that this pentagonally shaped 1.24mm string is delivering some spin, but round ones, like the mantis power polyester in 1.25mm, or the luxilon adrenaline at 1.20mm, kirschbaum competition at 1.20mm deliver more spin than this.

    the string marks an overall of 57 points in my evaluation, which is apparently quite far from the top performers at 66 (mantis power polyester) and 65 (polyfibre black venom rough), but it seems to be a string that i could be living, i.e. hitting with in the longer run - and this is the truly big surprise. i had no shoulder issues with it at all!!!!

    i will give it another run though (as i still have a half set) because i want to make sure it is not just a overly positive reaction after having gone through the disappointing oehms strings. i have played alternatively with the mpp/mcs set-ups, but those were strung on my son's sticks which are weighted different, so the comparison is somewhat distorted, as my sticks have a higher swingweight and therefore more plowthrough.

    nevertheless, these strings are really worth a try, at least when living in europe. i don't know what they are retailed for in the us-of-a, but in europe they are very cheap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    #25
  26. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Nice review. I will be giving this string a trial soon. What tension did you string it up at?

    Your rating scale is somewhat unusual, how do you rate strings with your system?
     
    #26
  27. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    the mains i've strung at 22kg (approx. 48lbs) and the crosses at 21kg (46lbs).
    my rating is 1=very poor and 10=excellent.
     
    #27
  28. ben123

    ben123 Professional

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    btw

    how did you measure the actual gauge of each string?
     
    #28
  29. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    those are figures taken from the tw-university. my intention basically was to see how measured stiffness ratings behaved in a full stringbed under real circumstances. i have found that there are some strings (a minority nevertheless!) that measure very stiff but do not play as stiff and harsh as some other ones that measure lower in stiffness.
    there are some interesting issues in this respect.
     
    #29
  30. Samo

    Samo New User

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    Pro's pro Blackout 1.24

    I played with Blackout some time ago and I was positively surprised with the string. After it snapped I couldn't get the reel because the distributor was out of stock. So I decided to play with Signum pro Tornado, which received very good reviews from all over the place. Anyway a week ago I managed to get a reel of Blackout and can say that the string is certainly on par with Tornado. In my opinion it is even better as it offer easier access to slice (more rotation and more consistency). When you calculate in the price (25€ vs. 95€) we have a clear winner.
     
    #30
  31. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    msv focus hex 1.24 (black)

    i have started my encounter with the msv focus hex 1.24. after the first session i must say that i am pleased. it is "easier" to play than the blackout in the sense that it feels slightly softer but at the same time also more (slightly!!! more) controlled.

    BUT, i'm still missing out on that monster-spin. it spins the ball alright, i would say on par with the previously played blackout and maybe a tiny little bit than my standard round mantis power polyester. regarding this i'll have to see how it plays when the edges start to be worn out. so far, in this respect, the only string that was consistent up to breaking was the polyfibre black venom rough.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    #31
  32. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    msv focus hex 1.23mm

    while it is true that my son is hitting harder and gets more consistent, the level should not have risen so much that i get to play only 5 hours with a set of strings - he's 12 after all. yes, this was rather surprising that the focus hex 1.23 broke, nice, in the sweetspot, the other strings also being heavily notched, so it was not a shank. since this would be rather unusual, i should be getting around 8 hitting hours at least out of it, i decided to string the second half set too and see how it goes in terms of durability. when i'm going to be through with it, i'll post my final thoughts and grade this string.

    in the mean time i would like to call on the other msv focus hex users and ask if there is some durability issue with these strings. specially in a hybrid, where i have employed the mantis power synthetic, which gives me anywhere between 8-12 hitting hours and usually is the first to break as it's thinning out. with the focus hex it looked quite "fresh" and the msv is quite heavily notched all over the sweetspot.

    p.s.
    the msv focus hex IS 1.23mm, i obviously misstated the diameter in the post above, most probably automatically switching from the pro's pro, which is 1.24mm indeed.
     
    #32
  33. NikeWilson

    NikeWilson Semi-Pro

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    Interesting info. I too used to stick with the idea that it's not the strings that that produce spin, it's the technique, etc.
    But lately I've been trying a bunch of these shaped/textured strings(hybrid: poly mains, synthetic cross), and I notice that I do get a little bit more spin on some shots. Even if the increased spin is suttle, I psychologically feel more confident/comfortable having shaped or textured strings in my racquet. haha. So, now I don't think i can go back to non-textured/shaped strings.
    I liked MSV Focus Hex 18 gauge(1.18 ) better than 17 gauge.
    I also like WeissCannon Black 5 Edge 17. And even Babolat RPM Blast 17.
    And Solinco BarbWire 17.
    They all felt very comfortable in a hybrid setup, and the playability was better than most of the other strings I tested. However, I haven't gotten to the point of testing out how easily they break or not, since I rarely break strings. I usually just cut them out after a few weeks.
     
    #33
  34. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i was a string killer all of my tennis life - in the last years as a junior i was going through a set in less than two hours (and we played the small wooden sticks with VERY dense pattern), and even now i usually get around 10-12 hours out of a set (due to the mantis power syn i use as a cross, with other cross strings i can go as low as 6 hours - the mantis comfort syn for instance).

    from the strings i have played so far - not really many shaped/structures ones, but i did play quite a lot of round ones in the past two years, the best feeling and spin i got from the mantis power polyester. the 1.20mm kirschbaum competition comes in as a close second, the luxilon adrenaline 1.20 as a close third, the latter one being a little bit on the too stiff side for these old bones though. i also enjoyed the 1.20 big hitter silver.

    due to the fact that i basically found a 1.25 string (the mantis power poly) to give me the touch, power and spin i found in the other thinner ones, i decided to go up with durability, as playability was assured. therefore the most strings in this shaped/structured survey will be 1.25mm.

    so far, the only string to give consistent and significant MORE spin (attention: NO MONSTER SPIN!!!!) than the aforementioned round ones has been the polyfibre black venom rough. that one kept going for almost all of it's life time, maybw without the last hour or so! all the others, no matter if i liked them or not overall, would end up providing less spin than the thinner round ones once they got past the three-four hours mark.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    #34
  35. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    fgs - you really ought to add some paragraphing and line spacing to your posts because a huge block of continual text is much more difficult to read.
     
    #35
  36. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    torres,
    noted - will do so! thank you for the hint.
     
    #36
  37. NikeWilson

    NikeWilson Semi-Pro

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    I haven't tried this string yet. But I put it on my short list of strings I want to try in the near future. I have tried the regular Polyfibre Black Venom(not the Rough version). Black Venom rated pretty good for me in terms of solid playability and comfort. I have a feeling I would like the Rough version even better.
     
    #37
  38. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    big question to the people in the know:
    the figures i tried to work out for the strings i'm going to review and i have included in my initial post are very difficult to read. i have printed them out and made a jpeg of them, so they look somewhat more orderly, but i don't manage to upload that image.
    how is that to be done?
    thank you very much for your effort!
     
    #38
  39. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have tried to add a link to a jpeg which contains the data selected from the twu string comparis tool regarding the strings i intend to test.

    please be so kind to tell me if it works and you can gain acces and visualize the info, as there are some interesting things to be talking about those data, as for some of the strings definitely the stiffnes measured and for instance the energy return do not really correlate with what you experience on the court while hitting - for instance the big hitter blue rough has a higher stiffness rating than alu power and the big hitter silver rough for instance.

    thank you in advance for your feedback.
     
    #39
  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Much more readable now! Good stuff.
     
    #40
  41. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    hello mikeler,

    thank you! after all i want the people interested in this topic to read what i experience and eventually chime in in a discussion.

    by the way, can you connect to the link in my first post? all those numbers i was not able to format and which i have taken from the twu-database are basically put in a jpeg which the link should direct to.

    there are quite interesting figures which in my opinion need a thorough discussion, because for instance strings with high stiffness measurement don't play that stiff after all, while strings as alu power for instance which by means of stiffness measurements is "middle of the road" is feeling really harsh and heavy on the elbows (and in my case shoulder). or the tourna big hitter blue rough being stiffer than the tourna big hitter silver rough!

    there has to be something, an aspect, that is missing from the picture - "the missing link":).

    also interesting are some figures in the energy return department. some strings deemed as powerful have a rather low energy return compared to others that are said to be less powerful and more control oriented.

    availability of the data by a click, other than putting all the questionnaire together, would surely sparkle this discussion i am definitely interested in, and i assume i'm not the only one.

    enjoy the florida sunshine, it's cloudy over here in vienna.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
    #41
  42. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yes the link works. I don't put much stock in the stiffness ratings. I've found too many times when they don't account for what I feel on the court.
     
    #42
  43. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    msv focus hex 1.23mm

    well, the second set lasted about half an hour longer than the first, so something important seems to ba happening - my son and current hitting partner has picked up a gear and plays it not only faster but also more consistent. you know, this is something kind of when people who haven't seen your kid for quite a while tell you that he has grown - as you see him every day, something like this rather goes unnoticed.

    i think i have to narrow down the "life expectancy" of a stringjob to around 6-8 hours probably, as i have been also hitting parallel with the tourna big hitter silver rough, and that is also quite notched after only 2.5 hours of playtime.

    now back to the msv focus hex 1.23:

    power - quite a good level of that, of course still low powered as any poly, but in the upper third of it's category i would say. it also behaves very civilised on off-center shots in the sense that you still get it over the net without any bad vibes in the joints.
    grade 7/10

    control - quite good, was playing pretty nice on different length in order to move my son forward/backward. while i feel the ball is less time on the stringbed as compared to the bhsr, it still does not stray much.
    grade 8/10

    feel - really nice on angled shots and slices, the droppers are not that wicked though as with my favourites. nevertheless, a string i could live with and which i will revisit as i'm going to explain later on.
    grade 7/10

    tension maintenance - fairly good, but as my playing window is closing, this starts to be an issue in the most rarest of cases. if i'm down to anywhere below 8 hours with a stringjob, that would mean two weekends from fresh off the stringer to breaking. while there are strings out there as we all know that would not survive tensionwise and hittinghourswise these 8 hrs, some of the strings i played and which had a second tension drop around the 7/8 hours mark will basically get into the window (that's an awful perspective as there will HAVE to be a lot more strings to like and making a decision which to favour will be increasingly difficult:)).
    grade 8/10

    spin - spin was good initially, but neither out of this world nor considerably better than my current favourites. the issue with this string (it is one of the two i had played a couple of years back) is that the profile is basically worn out around the third hitting hour. from that moment you just go on hitting with just another round string (or better said oval due to wear), any additional effect that was initially seizable (attention: NOT REMARCABLE!) has disappeared. nevertheless, it produces a good and consistent spin over it's entire lifetime, but nothing outstanding whatsoever.
    grade 9/10

    comfort - it is one of the softer strings and the pleasant thing about it is that i behaves rather well on offcenter-shots. from this point of view it is an enjoyable ride.
    grade 8/10

    durability - this one is a rather difficult call now for the reasons described above. nevertheless i do think that there are strings that will get me under the new conditions to probably around 8 hours, therefore i give it a slightly lower grade, also because i remember having gone through it a little bit faster than my usual set-up a couple of years back.
    grade 7/10

    overall 54/70

    as stated above, i have started to play parallel with the tourna big hitter silver rough 1.25 in one of my other sticks, and that is also quite notched for only 2.5 hours of use. therefore i will play with that one until it breaks too, just to get a better idea about this hitting hours issue i'm currently confronted with, and which has a major impact on the rating for durability. it would be absurd to still linger on the 12 hours i got with the mantis power poly as the benchmark for evaluation, when that time window would not be obtainable any more. so, next up, after the conclusion of the bhsr test, will be a run of the mpp, just to "recalibrate" this aspect.

    according to an issue brought up in another thread which is by itself very interesting (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=397382), i also decided to "recalibrate" the power rating. a poly obviously can never have a 10/10 in that sector, that would be something reserved for natty gut and eventually a very few multis. from my experience so far, the most powerful poly, even strung at low tensions (and i'm not stringing high with 22/21kg), would get a 8/10 in the very best of cases. therefore i'm going to revise the ratings in this area as well.

    not to be misunderstood, a low or lower rating for power does not necessarily have to mean "bad" string. remember that mikeler was looking for a low powered multi and for instance our likings have intersected each other over the mantis comfort synthetic. it is low powered - some will like it some will not. if i'd say it's high powered it would not change the behaviour of the string.

    so, stay tuned for some of the strings i've reported already about in the "revisited" and "revised" versions, because with some of them i intend to play again.

    the programm will therefore be as follows:
    - finish the bhsr 1.25 playtest
    - "recalibrate" with the mantis power polyester
    - playtest of the solinco revolution 1.25 / tru feel 1.30 set i have to do for stringforum - so there will be another cross string in this one!
    - start a shootout i'm really keen on: tecnifibre black code / weisscannon black5edge / pro's pro blackout - as you may all know, all of them black, all of them pentagonal, all of them 1.24. there had been so much fuss about these strings being the same that i'm going to play them in parallel - half an hour each per hitting session, changing the sequence so that all get the same workout and i don't have to compare groundies on one string with volleys on the other one and services on the third.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
    #43
  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for the detailed review and taking the time to write it all down.
     
    #44
  45. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Seconded. Thanks for all the information!
     
    #45
  46. ethebull

    ethebull Rookie

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    fgs, Have you tracked, or made a mental note of, which strings have their structured edges wear down first? Mains, or is it more evident on the cross strings ?

    edit: But of course you are not using structured strings in a full bed... Anyone who does, please chime in!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
    #46
  47. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    yes, because basically i'm looking for a string to provide spin over my entire playing window.

    from the four strings tested so far, the "ranking" would be the following:

    1. polyfibre black venom rough 1.25 keeps going well into the 9th hour of playing. i got 12 out of it until it broke. but that was obviously before my son stepped up a gear, so this will be a "revisited" candidate, as i also liked the string quite a lot.

    2. surprisingly second is the very cheap pro's pro blackout 1.24 which kept the profile pretty fresh for around 8 hours - also a "revisited" candidate. not because it is soooo good (but it's more than decent), but because it is cheap and i'll have a pentagonal shootout on schedule. this seems to have also been before my sons rise, as it took me some 11 hours to break.

    3. comes the msv focus hex 1.23, which kept going for almost 4 hours out of 7. will also be "revisited"

    4. the disappointing oehms black pearl rough extremes 1.23 and 1.27, which lost their profile after less than two hours (that is within my first hitting session!).

    i'm currently playing the tourna big hitter silver rough 1.25 and this keeps going pretty fresh after 3 hitting hours. can see almost no difference between the sweetspot and the strings closer to the frames where i basically don't hit at all.
     
    #47
  48. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Curious - have you tried 17g kevlar as a main yet? Since you're looking for something that plays well over the life of the string, I'd think that might work better for you than any poly. I have yet to find a poly that can match the long-term playability of kevlar. In fact, I'm on the verge of ditching poly crosses in favor of syn gut like I used to use, due to the gradual tension loss of poly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
    #48
  49. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    travlerajm,

    when i meant the lifetime i basically meant the 8-10 hitting hours, which is about the lifeetime of a poly string anyway, as most of them go dead by that time. if the profile wears down after two/three hitting hours, this is definitely not acceptable. in this respect i expect the profile to keep up somewhere around 70-80% of the playing time.

    i do have some shoulder issues with the stiffer polys, reason for which i have stayed away from kevlar so far, but, just for the fun of it, i might give it a shot, as i can imagine that i could go down in diameter due to it's "legendary" durability. one other reason that has kept me away from kevlar is the fact that hitting with a lot of topspin, i rather tend to hit somewhat exccentrical, moreso, since i come from the wooden times, i regularly hit a little bit above the sweetspot (6-7th cross string from top), so i don't expect it to be a too smooth of an experience.
     
    #49
  50. januslow

    januslow New User

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    Here's my observation for black venom rough and B5E, both strung full bed on PB10 mid at 45/42.

    Spin potential: Black venom rough has better spin potential due to its more prominent profile, but the profile wears out pretty fast like other rough strings. (For me, the strings at the sweet spot were more or less worn after 2 hours, so expect some drop in spin).I couldn't really tell for B5E as the edges were not even prominent in the first place.

    Comfort: Black venom rough has an edge here as it is softer than B5E. It is quite a feat considering B5E being quite plush itself. (My elbow love venom rough in this department)

    Feel: Black venom rough feels a bit muted while B5E is crisp providing better feedback. (This is probably related to the softness of the string, and I love the B5E in this department as I can feel the ball better)

    Tension maintenance: B5E is impressive here, as I did not notice much difference in the hitting of the ball until it broke at about 10-12 hours mark. Venom rough on the other hand, did exhibit few periods of tension loss when it forced you to adjust to the new tension. (Extra note: Tension drop for both strings were not that noticeable when I did a hybrid for both strings with forten sweet, so I was quite disappointed when I experienced a drop in tension for a full bed of venom rough)

    Durability: Both are quite similar lasting around 10-12 hours, but I will definitely cut the venom rough earlier before it snap next time due to the tension loss.

    Power: Both are low power string. I just felt that venom rough is slightly lower, but it could be due to the muted feel and the sound it produced during impact. B5E does give a big explosive sound.

    Play ability: Both play well when you combine all their characteristics and they produce similar quality balls, venom rough's heavier while B5E faster.

    My choice: I can do with either string (in fact I have a reel of B5E and venom rough each), but i will give an edge to B5E due to its feel and its consistent play. However, if it is somebody who hits with heavy spin and is looking for a friendly soft string, I will recommend venom rough.
     
    #50

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