structured/shaped polys playtest

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

  1. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    januslow,

    thank you for your contribution.:)

    it was an interesting read as i'm soon going to string up the b5e.

    in respect to the black venom rough i want to say the following: as i know (from reports on the stringnet and from manufacturer recommendation) that the polyfibre has a higher stabilization loss as compared to other polys, i strung it 0.5kg higher! therefore i did not have the issues you are talking about.

    generally though, in order to prevent from this initial tension loss i do with ALL the strings the following: when i take them from the stringing machine, i put them on the carpet and step about 50 times quickly on the stringbed (i have 75kg). this produces a stretch and with most of the strings i do not experience this initial tension loss that usually occurs during the first hitting session. moreso, i usually don't play them 24hours after stringing, allowing them to settle in completely.

    some strings still have a second tension drop which in most of the cases is also the moment they go dead, other become a trampoline (very few).

    it is interesting though that in spite of having about the same playing window (approx. 10 hours), the shape of your venom rough was worn out after 2 hours, while mine really lasted up to the 8-9th hour, and i am hitting pretty hard with lots of spin.

    as my timewindow seems to be shortening quite considerably, i will "revisit" some of the strings. my son (and most regular hitting partner) has raised his level over the summer, so i need to make some adjustments and therefore basically plan to play again with some of the strings tested so far.

    i also use to keep some back-up of the strings i like, in order to be able to make some back-to-back playing with the ones i'm most fond of, so this thread will not be a "very speedy race" in terms of adding new strings to the evaluation at a very fast rate.
     
    #51
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Good stuff! As a B5E fan I always enjoy comparisons to other strings. I don't like profiled strings that wear down. As you mentioned, B5E does not have a very pronounced profile so it does not wear down.
     
    #52
  3. januslow

    januslow New User

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    I must say the tension maintenance of venom rough is still quite good compared to other polys like spin X and big ace that I have used before, just that it is not as good as B5E. Below is a link of a picture of my string after 4 hours of use. You can/may see that some of the cross strings in the middle are significantly more worn than the rest at the side. I'm quite surprised by the fact that the main strings remain pretty intact though. Nonetheless, the string bed can still impart decent amount of spin just not as much as a freshly strung one. I wonder if a twisted string will be able to maintain spin characteristic better.
    http://s1109.photobucket.com/albums/h423/januslow/String/?action=view&current=IMG_5841.jpg
     
    #53
  4. ethebull

    ethebull Rookie

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    The cross strings losing their texture is not surprising to me. It seems most players assume that ball abrasion causes this wear, but I believe it is the rubbing of the mains as they move that causes the vast majority of profile wear. I asked about this above because I always use a smooth cross string with textured poly mains, so I was interested in what full textured poly users experience.
     
    #54
  5. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    januslow,

    this pretty much explains our apparently different findings, which after all are obviously identical - as i play hybrids, and thus only string the poly in the mains, the profile kept up pretty well, up to almost the moment of breaking.

    you went fullbed and the crosses lost their profile pretty quick while the mains, as you confirm, keep the profile pretty long. as i do multi crosses, i just got "the good half" of this behaviour.:)
     
    #55
  6. Hotrocks

    Hotrocks Rookie

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    fgs-Mantis 300

    fgs- I also purchased the Mantis 300 a while back...was to light in stock form. Thought to give it another try, so I added a hydrosorb grip with more lead to the handle and enough lead @ 10 to 2 to made it 6.5 head light. Signum Pro Tornado mains(51) and Mantis-Power Synthetic(49). Static weight 337grs./ 11.9oz. Absolutely love the mantis strings, got tired of paying so much for GUT! I usually get 3 weeks out of this setup/Playing 3-4 times a week for 2 hour sessions. You stated your racquet is 1pt. head light, would that not be a rocket launcher, but your game is much better than mine most likely. I think you will like Tornado with the Mantis P/S....they both have excellent durability and all the spin to keep balls in play!!!
     
    #56
  7. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    hello hotrocks,

    i do have a set of 1.23 and one of 1.29 of tornado waiting! but my first run will be with the plain shaped ones, next up will come the roughs and last but not least the twisted ones, so there will be some time to get to those.

    i have pretty whippy strokes (borg style) brushing up a lot on the ball, so even stringing low does not really turn the mantis 300 into a rocket launcher. in my opinion it is the lowest powered ultra-stiff stick around, giving very high amounts of control. what i do really love about this stick is that in spite of me hitting a little bit "up" on the stringbed (6th/7th cross) i do not get bad vibes into my joints - and i play plain leather grips! so no cushioning whatsoever from that part.
     
    #57
  8. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    tourna big hitter silver rough 1.25mm

    i had the chance to hit with a 28yr old former futures player and it was real fun. it tooke some time to tune in on the heft of the strokes and the spin imparted and honestly - after 30 minutes i was pretty much done. as i will start to work out with my son, i do hope that next time i will get such a chance i will be able to keep it going for an hour.:) now don't get me wrong, i think he played somewhere around 40%, but i could be his father:)

    now back to the string - this is not going to be the usual review because, as stated previously i'm going to "recalibrate". this set-up for instance held up only for 3.5hrs with my son and one hour of "abuse" today, where we had for the first half hour quite some heavy hitting rallies.

    the spin basically was pretty good, in the "upper" league so far and to my surprise the twisted shape held up until it broke.

    the power level is low and control is pretty good on this string, you really feel the "pancaking".

    comfort is not a forte of this string, offcenter shots are on the verge of being harsh and feel is good but not outstanding - upper middle class.

    nevertheless this is still on the "to be revisited" list after my recalibration.
     
    #58
  9. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    solinco revolution 1.25 / tru-feel 1.30

    i am now into two hitting hours with this set-up which i have to test as such for stringforum.

    stringing the mains was no problem, it went as usual for a stiffer shaped poly, stringing the crosses was a little bit of the problem because the crosses are having a certain texture and you are slowed down quite considerably if you want to avoid friction burn.

    it is difficult to tell which of the strings is responsible for the rather dead and mushy feeling this stringbed provides. this is the main reason why i doubt i will like this string. it does play really soft, it is not harsh on offcenter shots, has rather decent acceleration when you hit the sweetspot and so-so control. i do have some issues with controlling height and length with this setup as well as imparting spin, which is rather peculiar since the mains are hexagonal and the crosses are sort of rough, nevertheless the spin is quite much below par.

    the mains are not notched at all but the shape is less proeminent, but still quite well defined. the crosses though do have some spots where the outer shield seems to have been worn down so that i expect them to start fraying during my next hitting session.

    my main issue with this setup is that it really feels kind of "dead". it is low powered but i do have to take quite serious cuts at the ball in order to get some depth and then of course that control and precision will be less. i hit today for about 2 hours with it and i do really feel tired - no, my arm is not sore, but kind of heavy.

    i have decided to buy a separate set of revolution though and give it a run with my regular crosses.

    i will keep you updated though on how this hybrid will perform until it breaks.
     
    #59
  10. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    solinco revolution 1.25 / tru-feel 1.30 - final evaluation

    i'm through with this hybrid now, so i think i can share my thoughts on it:

    power: low powered hybrid requiring really huge acceleration to get something going. on offcenter shots you get even less, but in a rather "linear" way as compared to sweetspot shots. i found it really tiresom to play with it and i continue to think that the crosses (tru-feel) are the "culprit". as stated above, i'm going to give the revolution a separate run with my usual crosses.
    grade: 4/10

    control: control is basically the big issue with this combo i could not make friends with over the 6 hours that it lasted. i was out of my comfort zone when trying to get some real action on the ball and my precison was literally off. the string itself is not spraying balls all over the court, it"s just that you need to have incredible stroking precision on VERY fast swings, which is a pretty difficult thing to do.
    grade: 6/10

    feel: this set-up played mushy from the first hit to the last one. yes, it feels soft and it does not get harsh even on offcenter shots, but i had difficulties playing regularly angled shots, i even had difficulties playing a constant length and height, not to talk about halfvolleys or droppers.
    grade: 4/10

    tension maintenance: this aspect was really good, the tension drop seemed to be really small and it kept up at the same tension until it broke, after 6 hitting hours.
    grade: 9/10

    spin: in spite of the revolution being hexagonal and the tru-feel having a rather rough surface, spin-level was moderate. due to the low power this setup produces, you end up hitting more "sitters" than having strokes that kick-up and pose some difficulties for your opponent. when the string broke, i switched to a mantis 285 stick (not weighted and no leather grip!!! which means the stick has about 35g less than my usual mantis 300s), strung with mantis power poly in the mains and head c3 rocket in the crosses. my opponent told me that there was NO difference in the shots, he did not notice that i switched to a lower weighted stick until i told him when we finished! so, i was basically hitting the same "heaviness" with a stick that has a 10% lower mass - so you can imagine what the string-combo accounts for in this situation.
    the structure started wearing down after about 4 hitting hours, now after 6 hours it is not visible anymore in the sweetspot.
    grade: 7/10

    comfort: while the combo is comfortable in the sense that i did not give me any itching in spite of my frequent overhitting, i find it tiresome and hence not really comfortable.
    grade: 7/10

    durability: the hybrid is rather on the low end in my opinion with 6 hitting hours. but the revolution is almost not notched at all and the crosses broke in the center (9th string from the top) and are thinned out. once the outer shell has been worn through, the string basically breaks with the next shot. there is not much fraying to be seen on the tru-feel, the inner strands just give in on the next shot, not like classical multis which hold up to the "last" stand.
    grade: 6/10

    overall: 43/70

    this evaluation goes for the hybrid as it comes, so i will also file a report when i'll be hitting with the revolution with my regular crosses.

    as i'm abroad currently and have no chance to string my "recalibration" setup with the mantis power poly in the mains and the mantis COMFORT synthetic in the crosses, i will go on playing with the ma285 stick and hope for decent weather. recalibration will be started next week upon my return.
     
    #60
  11. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    don't fight it - feel it!

    back home in vienna and managed to get some 2.5hrs of decent practice hitting over the weekend. had strung my "recalibration" set-up of mantis power polyester in the mains at 21kg (~46lbs) and the mantis comfort synthetic in the crosses at 21kg (~46lbs) - reason for this is that the crosses are soooo soft, that i felt i have to go up a little bit. prior to this i played the mpp at 22kg in the mains and the mantis power synthetic at 21kg in the mains as my regular set-up, mainly for reasons of durability. as my regular hitting partner (my son) is gaining some speed as he grows, i have found that i'm going through the mpp/mps at a much faster pace (around 7-8 hitting hours as opposed to 10-12 during sping), so i thought that going back to the combo i fell madly in love with a year and a half ago, could be a possibility.

    memory can sometimes play some tricks on you - it was so easy to place the ball, to give it the proper length by spin and trajectory and also control the pace of the hitting sessions that i just wondered why the heck am i going through all this structured/shaped strings craze instead of just enjoying the hit and try to get my son up to the next level. i hit a few with my sons sticks (slightly different balance and smaller grip, but same mantis 300 stick) and it was not that the mpp/mps set-up was hard-going, it was somehow a little bit more powerful but less lively, less touchy. it also produced flatter trajectories, but that can also be due to the slightly lower swingweight.

    it is not that i haven't enjoyed some of the structured strings i played since may or june, but definitely none confered as much hitting pleasure as the mpp/mcs set-up.

    so, i'll play this one till it breaks and then i'm going to get back to testing, but i might seriously consider to always have a stick with this combo strung up with me. even if it's not structured, i'm going to make a full report an this one, as a reference. the one i did in spring 2010 was on the old 106 nblades, but it seems that this set-up performs the same magic in a smaller and much stiffer stick as well.
     
    #61
  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Interesting thread. I'll have to give Mantis Comfort Synthetic a try.

    If you want to find that "spin-monster", I think you'll have to go down significantly in tension to get it. Compared to the hybrid setups I tried, a full bed of MSV Focus Hex at 35/35 is a "spin-monster". The string movement and ball pocketing at low tensions allow for the increase in spin. I just don't like what full poly does to the arm.

    A hybrid setup at those tensions might have similar spin, but the ball might fly like a cannon. Maybe it would work if the syngut stayed in the mid 40's but the poly went down to 35? I thought about that before but never tried it.
     
    #62
  13. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have played the focus hex with the mantis power syn as crosses. it spun the ball all right but for about three hours (you can read up further above the report). the focus hex is definitely one of the strings i could imagine playing with, so i went on and ordered another set to (sometime) play it again with the mcs as cross-string.

    i have a pretty stiff frame with a 16 mains pattern. i have experimented with lower tensions and found them really ok while i played the 106 nblades, which were sporting a 18mains pattern. with a stiff stick like i'm using now and 16mains i'm rather reluctant to lower tension even more as it would go into rocket-launcher mode i guess. 35lbs is around 16kg and that looks way too low - i will sometime try it out nevertheless, but currently i want to go on and diminish the huge inventory of string i have piled up.:)
     
    #63
  14. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I use a Babolat APDGT, which has more power than most "player's" racquets. The racquet I had before that was a Pro Staff 6.1 strung with syngut at 62 pounds. I thought full poly at 35 would be too much power to handle, but I was wrong. Apparently, poly doesn't have the ability to launch the ball the way other strings do at low tensions, and with all the extra spin I could put on it, balls that I thought were going long were suddenly dropping in. Too bad my arm wasn't liking it. So now I'm back to experimenting with hybrids to see what kind of arm-friendly combination I could get and still have good spin and control. Please let us know if you find that also. :)
     
    #64
  15. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i loved the pro staff 6.1 classic - the last stiff stick i could play with without my shoulder going berzerk, that was until i stumbled upon the mantis 300.

    the past four years i have played the 106 nblades and thoroughly enjoyed the kirschbaum competition 1.20 in the mains with wilson sensation 1.25 in the crosses. i used to string that between 23m/22c and 21m/20c (in kg of course and tighter during summer, looser during winter). that was until i came across the mantis strings. i then switched to mantis power poly in the mains and mantis power syn in the crosses, keeping tensions in the same range. never had any issues with my shoulder.

    this spring i switched to the mantis 300 and initially lowered the tension to 22m and 21c. i kept playing the power syn as a cross due mainly to durability issues, but i am decided to switch back to the comfort syn as a cross. so far i have not had any issues with my shoulder nor my wrist - seems my elbow is fine with almost everything.:)

    i had some strings going dead and getting me to overhit, so i had occasionally a sore shoulder, but no pain! those strings i would not play again anyway, but on the other hand i might consider giving them another go (the ones where i still have a half set left) with the softer mcs as a cross.

    i didn't like the feel of the apd - seemed somehow "hollow". haven't gotten to hit with the apdgt yet.

    the only structured string to "impress" me so far has been the polyfibre black venom rough 1.25. that really played extremely smooth, even with the mps as crosses. i will keep that up for the next round of "goodies".:) the string is soft and i strung it 0.5kg tighter which turned out to be a good guesstimate. kept going till it broke, the profile just seemed to have been worn out around the 8th hitting hour and touch was really very enjoyable. that was the only string so far to give consistent additional spin over (almost) it's entire lifetime as compared to the mantis power poly.
     
    #65
  16. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    People just aren't comfortable accepting the fact that interbatch variance tends to exceed the difference between the overpriced knockoff brands and their prototype generics.
     
    #66
  17. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    sobad,

    i'm sorry but i do not understand your comment. could you please explain what the "knockoff brands" and the "prototype generics" should be.

    i understand interbatch variance and with the strings i played for a longer time (that is had more reels or sets of, purchased at different times) i found them to be negligible - talking about kirschbaum competition, wilson sensation, wilson nxt tour, mantis power polyester, mantis comfort synthetic and mantis power synthetic.
     
    #67
  18. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I’ll try to clarify the best I can without naming names or posting links. I think the big tennis names are basically marketing outlets who hardly do any research anymore. All the research and design work is done by less known smaller outfits in Europe whose designs are purchased or stolen. The smaller outfits offer better products at significantly lower prices, yet the market is dominated by the majors whose quality control practices are often dubious. That’s all I was saying.
     
    #68
  19. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    sobad,

    o.k., i understood now. one of these "rumours" will pass through my hands in the next couple of weeks. i've read a lot about black pentagonal strings from different brands being the same and coming out of the same factory.

    while it still is possible that the same factory runs different material mixtures through the same extrusion machine, i will simply test out the claims and file my own playing reports in this thread. so far i have only played the "cheapo" and was impressed by the performance specially in regard to the reel-price. i'll soon find out how the much more expensive string will perform in my sticks.
     
    #69
  20. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I will be curious to hear your thoughts on the brand vs generic, when you get around to testing. At the same time, you probably share my skepticism when it comes to personal experience, as opposed to comprehensive lab analysis. I am leaning toward the Belgian and German (alleged) prototypes for the time being;)
     
    #70
  21. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i DO have my issues with lab analysis! and i try to make a few points:

    1. take the stiffness figures from both rsi and tw-university and you will find some "stiff" strings playing a lot softer than the measurement would suggest, and you will also find some "soft" ones that play stiffer. now that would be the personal experience contradicting the "objective" lab testing.

    2. tw-university has done a really good job at measuring at basically three swingspeeds. so, there is a definite and good explanation why some people experience "contradicting" results over the same string - they have different swingspeeds and thus experience different stiffnesses upon impact. while one gets into trouble with his elbow with one string because it is so harsh to him, another one might find the optimum performance with that particular string.

    at the end of the day my choice depends on the on-court experience and not some numbers determined in a lab test. while those can be indicative of what to expect of a particular string, due to testing methods (clamped sticks, single string impact, etc.) they will not resemble the hitting experience.
     
    #71
  22. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Scientific methods do not lie, but people who perform the analysis, people who interpret the results, and certainly those who use the results for marketing purposes, can make mistakes. If a person that you find trustworthy performs an analysis concluding that two strings are identical (but marketed under different brands and priced very differently), your on-court experience will likely confirm that finding.
     
    #72
  23. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    sobad,

    you got me wrong on this one - of course if two strings have identical values in lab testing it is very likely that they are just marketed differently. we all know it happens and no matter what we do it will not go away. to a certain extent i think it's like with the fragrances our ladies are so in love with - the bottle costs much more than the content.:)

    what i tried to explain is that for some strings (which do not have "generic counterparts") there are some stiffness results that you just don't feel oncourt. my take is a rather simple one - there is more than stiffness to determine the "feel" of a string. you have to somehow correlate energy return, dwell time and other parameters aside of stiffness in order to "physically" (i mean lab-testing) describe the behaviour of a string.
     
    #73
  24. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Yes, I don’t see any fundamental disagreements here, we are just exchanging some views on adjacent issues, the way I see it. I have to admit that I know nothing about the pricing or marketing of fragrances. If I were to purchase one as a gift or for own use, I would likely walk into a store and pay a premium for a brand I smelled in a magazine or something, based on the belief that there is more to a fragrance than its initial smell out of the bottle.

    I won’t engage in a debate on stiffness (especially with numbers), because I either like a string or not and then there’s durability and performance over useful life. But if I like a string and learn that it’s a knockoff identical to a much cheaper prototype, I do the right and rational thing.

    Could you talk a little bit about fragrances please? The mainstream brands are a little pricey considering the container size.
     
    #74
  25. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    1. there was a debate some time ago about stiffness being the most indicative measurement of the performance of a string and certain fellow-members regarded the rsi measurements as the gospel, telling all the others that basically what we were feeling on court was wrong - a few of us pointed out that while in a large proportion the stiffness measurements correlate with the playing experience, there are enough examples though that there has to be some other figures besides stiffness that "translate" into the court experience, as we named several examples of stiff strings playing soft or soft strings playing stiff (in the sense of harsh).

    2. regarding my analogy with fragrances: you end up paying premium-dollars or euros or pounds for a 50ml bottle of a renowned maker. the most expensive part of your purchase is basically the bottle itself - which is most probably designed by a world-reknown designer, then comes the packaging with fancy and appealing design and a rather expensive hologramm to fight off counterfeiting, and last but not least comes the fragrance-bearing liquid itself - this is the cheapest part of the purchased package.

    do you think that the production of a co-poly string with obviously some alu-fibres costs more than a few euros per reel? in this case as well as other similarly priced strings you don't even get a designer-bottle or a designer-package, you only get the belief that 80% of the top 100 atp use it because they make you think it's good on the false arguments.
     
    #75
  26. fgs

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    mantis power polyester 1.25 / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30 - my reference set-up

    so, i'm done now with this, have gotten 4 hitting hours out of this set-up which at first sight might look not much, but i'll address this issue a little bit later.

    i will also mention the grades the strings would get as full-beds, as i have played them as well as such, but this is one of the situations when 1+1 equals more than 2!:)

    stringing: the power poly in the mains was strung at 21kg (~46 lbs), with the outer two strings at 0.5kg less. the comfort syn, due to the ultra soft character was also strung at 21kg, with the upper 6 and the lower 3 crosses 0.5kg less. i'm doing this for a rather long time, the reason is that i get a more lively stringbed by pulling the outer strings a little bit less, compensating for the shorter length as well. i like the feel of it and i got used to it, so i go on doing it. as already repeatedly mentioned, also in mikeler's multi thread, the mcs is thinning out to at least a 1.25 gauge if not even less, so don't get fooled by the 1.30mm nominal diameter, once strung it's around where most 1.25mm multis end up being in a stringbed.

    power: this set-up is about average in this department, but i would describe it as "power on demand". by this i mean that you get out about what you are putting in. it once again struck me that it is the most "direct feedback" set-up that i have played in a long-long time, but more about that when i'm writing up in the "feel"-department.
    on offcentershots you still get enough action on the ball and thus you are able to still play it back deep into your opponents court. part of this might be also due to the upper crosses strung lower, but as already stated before, i do this on every stringjob and not only on this particular one.
    grade: 7/10
    the mpp as full-bed would score 7/10, the mcs 8/10.

    control: this is where this combo absolutely shines. i can place the ball wherever i want to with an incredible ease. i can hit short angled spins and wicked droppers. i can beautifully control the trajectory of the ball - to put it in just a short sentence - this set-up puts me in control. if my feet get me into swinging position nothing wrong can happen. this really is amazing.
    as a sidenote: when i first "discovered" this set-up in may 2010, i went on to win the +45 nationals without losing a set - i didn't need any "adjustment" time, i was in charge, i was only concentrating to set my feet up properly and than just hit out.
    grade: 10/10
    the mpp would score 10/10, the mcs 9/10

    feel: it is simply superb, provided you like such a direct feedback. you have sufficient "dwell-time", the combo plays soft, no bad vibes even when not hitting the sweetspot. touch shots are easy to produce, from fast but short angled spinny crosses to droppers or shots on the run. there is no area of the court where this set-up lets you down.
    grade: 10/10
    the mpp would score 9/10, the mcs 10/10

    tension maintenance: over the four hitting hours there was no tension loss, aside of the stabilisation loss of course. both strings basically shine in this department as well, and i got the mpp to play for 10-12 hitting hours without going south. it is one of the few polys that managed to keep it going over that time span.
    grade: 10/10
    both would score 10/10 taken individually.

    spin: well, a lot of you might be surprised, but this round poly and this soft multi do provide a more than healthy amount of rpm's - provided you have the technique of course. i used to play with the mantis power synthetic as a cross mainly for durability reasons. that one is a little bit stiffer and thus possibly provides a couple more rpm's but doesn't make the ball heavier. i get better court penetration with this set-up and i can much better control the trajectory of the shot, making for a more difficult ball for my opponent, even if it has a few rpm's less. the spin this combo produces is not the "over-the-fence" one, but the one that catches the opponent half a step behind the ball.
    grade: 9/10
    the mpp would score 9/10, the mcs 8/10 individually.

    p.s. - a few of the shaped strings tested so far provided initially some more action on the ball, but it was not tremenduously more and it was not consistent so far over the lifetime of the string due to the shape wearing down.

    comfort: this is a clear issue, i haven't had any troubles with my shoulders and due to the softness of the cross string i doubt that one could run into any trouble with this set-up.
    grade: 10/10
    the mpp would score 9/10, the mcs 10/10.

    durability: now this is almost a "religious" approach. initially i let this set-up down because i would not get past 4 hitting hours - that is rather intense stroking practice, so we are not talking matchplay, which has considerably higher downtimes, so hitting hours do not really count the same in matchplay vs. practice. now, i seem to be more willing "to pay the price" because i'm only practicing with my son twice a week, which is four hours, and stringing a stick once a week is o.k. almost two years ago i was playing more with different people as well as tournaments, so stringing fresh every second or third day seemed a little bit annoying.
    at the current pace of my son the mpp would most probably hold up around 6 hrs (i have to mention again - we are talking rather intensive practice hitting!), so that on my next set-up i might try some stringsavers to see if i can extend the lifetime of the mcs a little bit.
    as a sidenote: about a month ago while on a trip to romania, i had the chance to hit with a former futures player - the set-up i had strung up then was the tourna big hitter silver rough / mantis power syn and it broke within four hours.
    grade: 7/10
    the mpp would score 9/10, the mcs 7/10.

    overall: 63/70 (by adding up the points!)

    now that i have "recalibrated", i will pursue my scheduled test. next up will be the pro's pro blackout 1.24, the tecnifibre black code 1.24 and the weiss-cannon black5edge 1.24 - all black, all pentagonal. hope it will be fun.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
    #76
  27. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Thanks for your comments. I think I will leave the discussion of strings at this point, because there no longer appear to be disagreements between our respective positions, even though the assertions we are making are different.

    I am curious about the range and pricing of fragrances, but I also see enough differences between tennis equipment and fragrances to see this analogy as a challenge. In tennis overpriced items are generally marketed to noobs, while experience with the sport tends to lower expenses for equipment such as racquets or strings, certainly per court hour, on average.

    I don’t see a similar ascension path for a consumer to advance in fragrances over time. Most guys get those as gifts and can, for the most part, only judge the performance of the products by others’ comments. To be sure, are you suggesting that there are generic versions (of identical quality) of expensive fragrances available out there to the public?
     
    #77
  28. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    regarding fragrances i think there are - i see in europe truckloads of counterfeit products being sized by the authorities. from what others have told me, who eventually found out that they have not bought the original (in spite of a deceivingly similar hologram!), there was no difference whatsoever to the "original" fragrance. the point with this is that counterfeits are sold "only" at a small discount to the original, obviously making it interesting for the counterfeiters to pursue this path of illegal trading. there is much more money in this business as compared to tennis strings, where only the "originals" are sold at premium prices and correlated mark-ups. on the bay you can find "copies" of luxilons sold at less than half the price, but then the quality is not even close (according to reports filed at stringforum.net). so far, i have not heard of fakes, which obviously exist also in the tennis business, sold at prices usually charged for the "originals".
     
    #78
  29. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Any chance you will add Polystar Turbo to your trials? It's amazingly comfy and spinny.
     
    #79
  30. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have both polystars, the strike and the turbo. don't know when i get to play them though.
     
    #80
  31. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    pro's pro blackout 1.24mm (revisited)

    some time has passed since i filed my last review and while i have not been so often on the court, i have not been completely idle either. i have “revisited” the pro’s pro blackout 1.24 with the mcs crosses and i have done a blindtest with a shaped poly for stringforum, which will be presented in another post.

    the blackout just mated well with the mcs too, as it previously did with the mantis power synthetic. there are some slight shifts in the evaluation of course, but nothing to change my mind that this is a truly hot offer in terms of “bang-for-the-buck”.

    power: the power level is moderate, maybe slightly higher than with the mantis power poly, but it is pretty well controlled. you basically get out what you put in. the most interesting feature for me is that it performed perdictable on offcentershots with the mcs as well.
    grade: 8/10

    control: both directional control and length control are really good. with the mcs it scores a little lower than previously with the mps, but then i have also strung the mains 1kg lower now, which gives a little bit more stringbeddeflection and hence a little bit less control. what is important though is that this string produces no “weird-spots” on the stringbed – it is predictable and therefore controllable.
    grade: 8/10

    feel: it is not in the same league as the more expensive polys, but it is definitely close behind. touch-shots are not that “reliable” anymore, nevertheless i find that i provides a quite solid performance in this department too.
    grade: 7/10

    spin: it is pentagonally shaped and should basically deliver spin. well, it does, quite solid but nothing really impressive. i don’t think that i get more rpm’s onto the ball than with the mantis power poly combo. the edges do wear down after some 5 hitting hours but surprisingly this has little effect on the spin production which was about the same, be it on groundies or be it on ************* kickers.
    grade: 8/10

    comfort: really decent for a poly, not harsh by any means. i have seen better ones, but at a higher pricepoint.
    grade: 8/10

    tension maintenance: surprisingly good once again, it played really nice until about the 8th hitting hour (four sessions). during the last session, when the string also broke, it started feeling dead, but it still played “controllable”, i did not have to overhit, nor was i hitting into the fences – it just lost it’s crisper touch.
    grade: 9/10

    durability: i got close to 10 hitting hours out of it this time around too (i have played already 4 sets!), so that is basically benchmark performance in the mean time.
    grade: 10/10

    overall: 58/70

    this time around (with the mcs) the overal score is 58 (as opposed to 57 earlier on with the mps), but the balance of the characteristics has basically not shifted and i am really still impressed with the performance of this “very economical” offering.
     
    #81
  32. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    blindtest-string no.15 1.25mm / mantis comfort synthetic 1.30

    got a set of a structured string in 1.25, colour grey to test out. officially it still is the blindteststring no.15 but i assume that it is the tecnifibre ruff code, as i have a set of those i bought for my survey and they do look really identical. i’m still waiting for official confirmation on this one and then i will also change the title of this post.

    can't change the title of the post but the blindteststring IS the tecnifibre ruff code 1.25

    stringing was easy, not much coil memory and if you don’t rush on the crosses, no damage is to be expected to the strings.

    power: this string is playing somewhat softer than both the mantis power poly or the pro’s pro blackout and develops a little bit more power than both of them, but is rather in the blackout league. it also provides quite good feedback on offcentershots and i would say it has a really predictable response of the entire stringbed.
    grade: 8/10

    control: this was almost as “easy-going” as the mantis power poly in this department. you could vary length, height, left/right almost at will. touch shots and slices were good, i had to “tune in” a little bit due to a somewhat higher trajectory off the stringbed as i seemed to have a little bit more stringbeddeflection than with the mantis.
    grade: 9/10

    feel: once you get “tuned in” it’s really in the same league for me as the mantis power poly or the polyfibre black venom rough in this respect. i think it’s really very difficult to do better with a poly in this department.
    grade: 9/10

    spin: the “ruff” structure is not really so predominant, nevertheless you get more of that wicked dive on topspinshots as you get with the blackout for instance. in this respect it is not at black venom rough level, but equals the mantis power poly (which is surprising for a plain round poly!). slices also do stay low and the kickers really get some action.
    grade: 9/10

    comfort: superb. slightly softer playing than the mantis, and coming really close to the black venom rough, but equally top notch.
    grade: 10/10

    tension maintenance: it did feel pretty stable over it’s entire lifespan of roughly 9.5 hours. i think that there was a small drop in the last hitting session, but it could as well have been the slightly “softer” playing head atp balls as opposed to the wilson tour’s played previously.
    grade: 9/10

    durability: in spite of having played 9.5 hours, it was less heavy practice hitting (played some more sets than usually), so i will not go for maximum on this one.
    grade: 9/10

    overall: 63/70

    this string really is remarkable and basically it equals the scores of the mantis power poly and the polyfibre black venom. all of them are really “easy-going” strings in the sense that you basically control the ball “effortless”, you can just do whatever you want with it – if you set-up correctly you are going to hit the target you aimed for. all of them have their particularities but basically provide (at least me) with a really well-blended performance.

    it starts getting crowdy at the top.:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
    #82
  33. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    Have you tried the Pro's Pro Hitec Multifiber? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how it compares to MCS.
     
    #83
  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Tell us your thoughts if you have tried both.
     
    #84
  35. TNT16

    TNT16 Semi-Pro

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    Also I was wondering if you have tried or reviewed Pro Supex "Blue Gear'.

    I would love to know how Blue Gear stacks up against the other shaped strings you have tested.

    Thank you for all the reviews; great work!
     
    #85
  36. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have not yet tried the ro supex blue gear - but i have bought one set.

    i also "stocked" up on 1.25 gutex ultra and 1.30 hitec multifibre from pro's pro and think of stringing up one of my sticks with it, most probably in about two weeks.

    the blindteststring IS the tecnifibre ruff code 1.25!
     
    #86
  37. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    Both were used as mains with poly crosses. Both looked, smelled, and felt the same out of the package.
    MCS lasted 45 minutes, soft, decent spin, no control, maybe just an off day?
    PP Hitec Multi lasted about an hour. Soft, decent spin, more control.

    Please let us know your results on both.
     
    #87
  38. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have two sticks i want to break the strings as they have been in there for too long. since i have played with them already (have been sort of back-ups in the sense that if my test-stick breaks i have something at hand to go on - had quite some funny experiences with this - like winning first set 6-2, leading in the second with 5-2 and string breaks. take one of these out, need some three games to adjust, and then start rolling all over again, from 5-5 to 7-5 and then another 6-2. seems like i can play with any sh..:))

    as i mentioned before, next up is a back-to-back with black code and blackout, both crossed obviously with mcs. i think that i'm going to string up a third stick with blackout and hitech, so i can compare the two crosses with the same mains - in this case the blackout, which i made no secret about that i was really impressed by the performance of this string. a surprisingly solid performance from a really cheap string, coming really close to my favourites and surpassing quite a lot of "brand"-stuff.

    initially i wanted to test the strings with my reference mains, the mantis power poly, but that would not happen anytime soon, and because i feel really pretty well with the blackout on court, i think that i'm gonna be doing it this way.
     
    #88
  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    OK, good to know. Weiss Cannon Super Cable Pro seems very much like MCS as well. Getting ready to test that one soon. I have a stick with MCS in it, so it will be easy to compare the two.
     
    #89
  40. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    while i'm really having a very hard time to tell the tecnifibre black code 1.24 apart from the pro's pro blackout 1.24, bit strung with mcs crosses, i also strung up a stick with blackout and pro's pro hitec multifibre.

    the string is softer than the mcs, the stringbed also came out softer from the machine (measured with raquettune) - slightly softer! but it plays softer. it has maybe a tad less spin than the mcs, is slightly lower powered in spite of being softer but also has slightly less control in my opinion than the mcs. about durability i can't say anything so far, it has about two hitting hours on and there is not much notching or abrasion of the outer shield. the other two sticks are having about three hitting hours each on the counter, and it looks as if i have soon to grab the string-glides from my bag.

    by the end of next week i might be filing my report regarding the blackcode and possibly also the hitec multifibre.
     
    #90
  41. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    tecnifibre black code 1.24 / mcs

    well, i'm through with this string and i really tried hard o find any differences in the playing characteristics of this string vs. the much cheaper pro's pro offering, the blackout 1.24. i went to the length of playing both half sets but i must admit that if it would have been a blind test i would not be able to tell them apart. at times i had the impression (basically i was talking myself into) that the tecnifibre is a tiny tad softer than the blackout, but the next offcenter shot just reestablished the ideea that they are not different.

    this is also the first time that i used raquettune and even the dt-measurements went almost identical. off the machine i measured 32.6 for the blackout and 32.4 for the black code. this slight difference is negligible in my opinion, as due to some minor shifts in clamping points, the outcome might have been slighly different. after 48h the measurements were 29.8 on both sticks. after about a week from stringing and some 3 hitting hours on both sticks the dt-stiffness went down to 26.3 and prior to breaking (which was in the 10th hitting hour) the measurement was 25.7 again on both sticks.

    profile started wearing down after the third hitting hour on both, spin and control was basically the same, therefore i'm not going to make a more detailed review as on the other strings, simply because i've alredy said everything about the playing experience in the blackout review.

    the blackcode is a reasonable string i could well play with, the only issue i have with it is that i see no reason to pay almost four times as much as opposed to the blackout (at least with european prices!) for an absolutely identical performance in absolutely every aspect to be considered.
     
    #91
  42. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    I used MSV FOcux Hex.. and got huge amounts of spin... but after some time it lost some of the spin.

    The strings are hexagonal shapped, and when they get worn out, they lose that.

    But nice string.
     
    #92
  43. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have played the focus hex in 1.23, but with the mantis power syn as a cross. basically, compared to the blackout/black code it has a little bit less power and indeed it is spinning the ball a little more, but i had durability issues with it, in the sense that it only held up about 7-8 hitting hours, as compared to around 10 of the blackout/blackcode. i also found that it had a little bit more tension loss than these two.

    i will some time, but not very soon, play it again with the mcs as a cross, as i still have one set of it hanging around.

    the loss of spin you experienced comes from the fact that the shape is wearing down even quicker than on the blackout/blackcode. i dare say that for the first two-three hitting hours you get some more spin out of it and by the fifth the blackout/blackcode deliver more, although all deliver less than when fresh.
     
    #93
  44. ethebull

    ethebull Rookie

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    Good stuff fgs,

    Your insights are a refreshing alternative to the oft grandiose comments by others. Keep bringing us your informative, measured, and through experiences.
     
    #94
  45. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    thank you for your appreciation ethebull.

    i just took a look at that spreadsheet of stringdata i have compiled from the tw-university database and taking only the strings i have played so far i want to show that the stiffness ratings (medium tension and and medium swing speed) do not really correlate to what i experienced on court.

    the polyfibre black venom comes in with 189.2 lb/in as the softest so far and i can really confirm that. not only is it soft, but also has a higher stabilization loss, which comes to confirm the measured value.

    but then comes focus hex with 202.3. the surprise is the solinco revolution with a value of 209.3, which i basically found to be the stiffest string i have played so far.

    the big hitter silver rough comes at 217.7 and it obviously measured at a considerable rate softer as compared to the bigh hitter blue rough which apparently is stiffer at 233.2, against what a lot of people on this board are saying (i am yet to play the blue rough!).

    now the latest string i played is the black code which is sporting one of the stiffest/highest values obviouly at 256.6. from the on-court feel i found it to be in the same league as the msv focus hex and surely softer than the big hitter silver rough.

    my standard string, the mantis power poly also sports a very high stiffness measurement, which i simply cannot percieve on court. while i do not think of it as soft, like the black venom rough for instance, it definitely is not a harsh string and it is rather forgiving on off-center shots.
     
    #95
  46. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Just goes to show that the stiffness measured in the lab test is not always what you feel when you hit.
     
    #96
  47. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This happens often.
     
    #97
  48. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    What tension were these strung at?
     
    #98
  49. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    21kg mains and 21kg crosses - that's around 46lbs i think.
     
    #99
  50. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    46lbs is what I strung Blackout with. That seemed perfect.
     

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