structured/shaped polys playtest

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

  1. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i still have one stick strung with blackout mains at 46lbs and hitec multifibre crosses at 46lbs. is a really very smooth and comfy playing combo. as i mentioned earlier i do get a little bit less spin and control out of it than with mcs crosses, but it does play softer. i just have some two hitting hours on that one though, because i was so stubborn to find any differences betwen the blackout and the blackcode, which in the end i did not.
     
  2. DrpShot!

    DrpShot! Semi-Pro

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    I don't know if Tourna Big Hitter Black7 is in the TW Univ database yet, but that is by far the softest feeling poly I've ever tried. I couldn't tell if I was hitting a mulit or a poly until I looked down to adjust my strings and saw I didn't really need to. It had a more muted power response compared to BHSR, which is normally my string of choice, but after six hours I felt no pain in my wrist, arm or shoulder, which has never happened with any poly before, even the Lux M2 Pro.
     
  3. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    thank you drpsht! i do have this new string on my radar and i might soon pull the trigger and order some.

    so far, the softest strings i have played in the poly domain are the polyfibre black venom rough and the isospeed pulse, the latter being a round poly. both do have a rather high stabilization loss, but knowing that i did string a little bit higher (+1lb) and it was o.k.

    the isospeed was lacking nevertheless a little bit in the control department and had another quite nasty tension loss around the 8th hitting hour. given the price i decided it is no real option, but the black venom rough is on my "short list".
     
  4. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Just curious if you have plans to try B5E. I didn't see it mentioned anywhere in this thread.
     
  5. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    back on the court probably this weekend - was sick (not tennisrelated though:)).
     
  6. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    I hope you were able to get back on court.

    I just had a couple questions about your racket.

    1) It seems very similar to the aero pro, albeit 20 grams less. Have you tried the aero pro before, and would you say they have a similar feel?

    2) It says it has an RA of 70, does it feel that stiff or is it softer than the specs suggest?

    Thanks, I love my Aeropro, but it kills my wrist. I'm just trying to find something that will play similarly but not hurt my wrist.

    Thanks.
     
  7. tripleWRECK

    tripleWRECK New User

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    I'm curious, how much faster does a shaped poly (such as pentagonal/hex) saw through a multi in the crosses as opposed to a textured string? And how would the gain in spin outweigh the lower durability?
     
  8. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    up&comer,
    i am happily back on court, thank you and hitting. i have a little bit f a backlog on strings to test for stringforum, currently just playing the head pwr fusion, a poly core with ribbon wraps, which has a slightly rough feeling. therefore i might report about it i this thread, in spite of not being a true poly.

    the aeropro drive i now and played a little bit (a friend of mine plays it, not gt-version) is also at 300 unstrung, as is the mantis. i do think that tw got a little bit messed up in the scales there. my four sticks have 306 (x2), 308 and 310 g with the tw-leather grips in 1.5mm thickness, wrapped longer for my bhb.

    the mantis does play stiff, but somehow not that hollow-feeling stiff as does the aeropro, or the older wilson pro open for that matter. this stick simply reminded me of the feeling i had (and still have) with the wilson pro staff 6.1 classic. it is stiff but not jarring, has no bad vibes even on off-centershots, of which i hit basically a lot, as i break my strings on the 6th or max. 7th cross from the top!

    so far i have not had ANY wrist issues with this stick, in spite of my rather wristy shots (borg style), but i do sting low as you know and play a really soft cross, so that might contribute to this. depending on the strings i happen to have in the sticks, i do sometimes get some pain in my shoulder (sometimes it also gets to my left on due to backhands!), but i used to get those even with the much softer wilson nblades 106 i played before, so i think this is not really stickrelated but more attributable to my damaged shoulders.
     
  9. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    triplewreck,

    from my experience so far i cannot subscribe to this shaped/structured poly eating throug the crosses theory! i got about 8 hitting hours with the focus hex 1.23 as i got with my reference mantis power poly 1.25. that is with stringsaver though, without i would go through the mantis comfort syn i play as crosses anywhere between 4-5 hitting hours, depending on practice or matchplay ratio.

    it is possible that some strings do have sharper edges or a more pronounced profile, that really saws through the crosses, but so far i have not put them in obviously.
     
  10. tripleWRECK

    tripleWRECK New User

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    Thanks fgs, good to know.
     
  11. syke

    syke Professional

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    Thanks for great post. I will be very interested in your comments on the Big Hitter Black Rough. Hopefully, you will also try out some Tornados and SPPP hex. It would be great to see a comparison between the cof hex, black venom, b5e, bhbr, tornado and sppp hex.
     
  12. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Thanks fgs. You're right about weight, I accidentally looked at the strung specs for the aeropro.
     
  13. smark.tennis

    smark.tennis New User

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    Dear Fgs, May be you may answer. I did ask the following question once:"My son of 13 y.o. Playing tennis and after few tests we found out that he prefers guts-poly hybrid and best of all tour bite and b5e.this summer I am going to send him to play few tournaments with a group, where I don't think that he or smb may care about hybrid stringing. So my question is if it is possible to find a good and similar substitution to above setup, but using one string for a full bed". But to get an answer I'd like to simplify it: what is your recommendations for competitive junior who used to nat gut-poly setup to use in a full bed. I need to buy a reel for him before he goes on the trip. So please advise. He plays with Volkl O10L customized with a few grams at 12,9,3 hours and leather grip. He is all court player with an instinct to go forward and was tought to finish points from inside of the court and be patient at the baseline. I do string mostly myself for him, but on a trip his racquet will be strung like often on junior tournaments without additional care, so to give him nat.gut or any hybrid which is very sensitive to be strung correctly is worthless IMHO. I may get any string reel so you free to recommend anything you count the best. He will play mainly on red clay. If any additional question you may have to give an advise I am ready to answer.
     
  14. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i have read your request in another thread and i must confess that it is quite difficult for me to come up with an answer. in spite of using rather stiff polys like tour bite, the gut your son is used to softens the stringbed up really quite a lot, more than event the bestmultis would do.

    before sending him out on the trip, i would rather suggest you try out a very soft full poly at a somewhat lower tension and a better syngut at a slightly higher tension. see how he likes either one of them and then go from there. i would try out a kirschbaum pro line II or kirschbaum competition as polys, and mantis power syn as syngut. you can also go with another solid core syngut.

    i would not go for fullbed multis, in spite of being a really playable option for this age, but provided he has some spin in the strokes (which is a must in todays competitiove tennis), you end up stringing much too often while being on tour with him.

    my son has three sticks and we haven't been on a longer tour so far, so i never really ran into troubles in this respect. it also helps that he is not playing natty gut, so the stringjob could be performed with less care.

    best of luck to your son and yourself of course -maybe we meet on tour one day:).
     
  15. smark.tennis

    smark.tennis New User

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    Thank you for your advice. I have handy one set of kirschbaum proline II 1.15, I will try then. What tension do you recommend if usually we do nat gut mains at 23 kg and poly crosses at 20.5 kg. and if it's ok then for what gauge do you recommend to go for in proline? Thank you for answer. Also what I do have more in strings it is MSV co-focus, tourbite, SPPP, weisscanon b5e and scorpion, BHBR - what do you reccomend to try more out of it as far as he has 4 racquets.
     
  16. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    1.15 is a little bit thin but it could do - i would rather go with around 1.20 if possible.
    from the strings you mentioned, i think that all the other ones are at least slightly stiffer than pro line II, the softest being bhbr, msv focus hex, sppp, tourbite - i have not played at all with the weisscannon strings, so no comment so far on them.
     
  17. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    while it has been quiet for a while i have not "wasted" my time, besides the two weeks i was sick, but have played with the head power fusion 1.30mm, basically a hybrid string in itself, having four thinner strands of poly in the core and some ribbons (obviously made by isospeed for head) wrapped around it. while it played at the edge of decent, it would be nothing to write home about and since it is not a pure poly, although slightly rough on the outside, i will not write a full review about it in this thread. being also rather expensive, it definitely is not on the top of my list at all, it scored 54 points in my evaluation system, having been used as a cross to the tecnifibre black code 1.24mm.

    next up was a blindteststring nr.16, a geared black poly in 1.25mm which is supposed to be a prototype. again, nothing to write home about, it scored just 51 points overall in my evaluation system, having been used as a mains with my standard mcs crosses.

    next up come the goodies - the genesis twisted razor 1.27mm
     
  18. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    genesis twisted razor 1.27mm

    initially i must confess that i was not very confident in this triangular twisted shape, but i have been taught better. the string itself is on the soft side of polys, stretches quite a bit while stringing and you should be rather careful when weaving the crosses, as the profile is pretty sharp - definitely nothing for a "speed-job".

    power: this is a rather powerful poly which makes "living" a little bit easier as even offcenter shots do get some action. what was really nice about it, was that you could also play really good touch shots and angles, the string has a very distinctive responsiveness, which i did enjoy thoroughly.
    grade: 8

    control: in spite of being soft, the string allowed for quite great control, both lateral as also depthwise, and even when under pressure i could just pick my target and be rather confident that i would get really close (if i would always pinpoin-hit the targets i would be busy playing the french open now:))
    grade: 9

    feel: yes, this was a truly enjoyable experience. droppers, slices, wicked angles, you just name it and the string gave it.
    grade: 9

    spin: yes, this string is spinny. and what was the most important issue about this, as i have often said, it kept the spin going unitl it broke. the profile was still there, surely not as new, but clearly visible and grabbing into the felt of the ball, right until it broke. now, i feel i have to write a word of caution about this one - spin is 95% technique, so yes, this string is imparting more rpm's onto the ball than a good round poly, my beloved mantis power poly for instance, but in a limit of maybe 5%. it's not kicking over the fence all by itself. the only other string with rather similar performance i have come across so far was the polyfibre black venom rough.
    grade: 10

    comfort: i only can repeat myself, a very pleasurable encounter. please do not forget that i cross it with porbably the softes multi around, the mantis comfort synthetic, so it may very well play different with other stiffer crosses, it is after all a poly!
    grade: 10

    tension maintenance: i was surprised not to have any issues with it over the almost two weeks span i played it. initial tension loss is in the regular range for polys (not like the polyfibre for instance) and then it stays quite level, so there is no nasty second drop. bear in mind though that my playing window was 8 hitting hours until breakage, so when strung longer in the stick it might behave differently.
    grade: 9

    durability: i got almost 8 full hours out of it. basically that would be on my lower limit, but i must confess that there have been about 4-5 really heavy hitting hours in this timespan, so i'm rather tempted to give it a slightly higher grade than i would usually do.
    grade: 9

    overall: 64

    this is a string that has qualified for my final shootout. with the progress i'm currently making though with my attempt to test shaped/structured polys i hope they are still alive and kicking (ie delivering) by that time.:)
     
  19. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Good to hear. I'll put it on my list to try.
     
  20. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    it really is playing soft, very similar to the tecnifibre ruff code and the polyfibre black venom rough. but i think that is what you are also looking for as you have had some arm issues, like with the solinco revolution.

    the 1.25 i played with tru-feel as cross was pretty damn stiff, but i thought on trying the 1.20, which is now lined up and waiting. i doubt it will make it to the top of my list though.
     
  21. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Revolution is the only poly I've tried in a while that gave me arm issues after the first hitting session with it. I normally don't have arm issues, just some wrist soreness from when I broke it when I was younger.
     
  22. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    genesis typhoon 1.26mm

    coming from the twisted razor, the typhoon was a step back, in the sense that it obviously is not my cup of tea.

    power: it is definitely among the lower powered polys but i do have to state that while i had to "work" a little bit more to get some action on the ball, i still was not out of my comfort zone. the idea was that i was rewarded with a less penetrating shot. while hitting off-center was not harsh, the power level fell rather steeply, so for shots "on the run" it was rather difficult to come back to a neutral situation.
    grade: 7

    control: this string is definitely a more control oriented string, but it is not in the upper levels here either. could also be that due to the "additional work" i had to put in, while still in my comfort zone, i was on the edge most of the time, so misfiring by a slight margin should come as a "colateral loss".
    grade: 8

    feel: this is one of the lesser qualities of this string, i simply did not really enjoy it. i had a rather difficult time with drop shots or angled shots, even regular backhand slices were on the edge for me. in this respect i would say it is rather midrange.
    grade: 7

    spin: it is a pentagonally shaped twisted string and the profile wore down pretty badly within my first hitting session (2 hours). in spite of this it still developed decent spin, but i would not grade it higher than a decent regular round poly.
    grade: 8

    comfort: while it felt definitely stiffer than the twisted razor for instance, it was not harsh, but again solid midrange in my opinion.
    grade: 7

    tension maintenance: it held up pretty well up to the last hitting session, but there was a sizeable decline for the last hour of hitting, it has become less responsive and was a bit more difficult to control. a reasonable performance nevertheless for roughly 8 hitting hours.
    grade: 8

    durability: i had a total of 8 hitting hours with it, so this currently would be average, as i only had a single "heavy hitting practice session" within this timespan.
    grade: 8

    overall grade: 53/70
    basically not a bad string, which keeps up tension rather well, but missing in the touch department and the rather quick wear-off of the profile are downsides in my take. since it made me work "harder", i would not return for it.
    it's been a while now since i played the tourna big hitter silver rough, but it pretty much reminded me of that string from the playing characteristics, although i played that in a thinner diameter (1.20mm).
     
  23. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    Sorry for the minor thread hijack but I've read your reviews of TF Ruff Code and PF Black Venom Rough.

    When rating certain aspects of Ruff Code you wrote almost as good or equally as good as BVR etc.

    You gave slightly higher scores to BVR. Is it safe to assume that out of the 2 you prefer the Polyfibre string over Ruff Code?

    If not please try to explain the differences.
    Polyfibre Black Venom is one of my favourite polys, I wanted to test out the Ruff Code although BVR really meets my expectations in every aspect - well maybe except for string life but it's an issue for all polys (from my experience in this department only Prince Beast XP really stands out).

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  24. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    no hijack at all!:)

    when i played the black venom rough i used the mantis power synthetic as cross string.

    when i played the ruff code, i resumed to using the mantis comfort synthetic as a cross string again.

    therefore there are some slight differences and currently my impossibility to state which one i would prefer. i started out to "revisit" some of the strings i played and reevaluate them with the mcs as cross, but as of now, i have not yet gotten to play with the bvr / mcs. anyway, i will keep it for the "final shoot-out", as i still have some sets left over.

    i found them both to be on the soft side but play consistently over the entire lifetime of the string.
     
  25. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for an instant reply.

    Cheers!
     
  26. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    solinco tour bite 1.25mm

    i had the chance to playtest some hybrids this summer for the german tennis magazine, one of them being the tour bite / vanquish combination. as a matter of fact, it had been the only structured/shaped poly mains, the other two contenders have been round shaped ones. but i also had a set of tour bite purchased for this thread, so i had the interesting opportunity to check the vanquish as a cross also against my standard mantis comfort syn. while i do really find the tour bite being a very interesting string, and might even be tempted to try it in a slightly thinner gauge some time, the vanquish as compared to the mcs just took out every bit of life out of the tour bite. i had a pretty similar experience with the other multi solinco is offering, the tru feel - these strings are soft to the extent that you are losing out on everything but that pillowy feeling - no touch, no bite, no balls. while still being soft, the mcs just sort of behaves neutral in this respect. during summer i also had a hybrid with a natty gut cross (had to play it that way!), and while being pretty soft too, that combo was crisp, lively and controlled, something the solinco multis have been completely missing out.

    but now to the tour bite:
    power: you have to provide a little bit of your own as the string definitely is on the stiffer side of the spectrum. it has pretty good response in respect to the swingspeed, it behaves pretty linear in this respect and off-center shots are still getting some juice.
    grade: 7

    control: this is an area where the tour bite is clearly in its element - very good control, both depth and lateral. for my stroking technique it was really a very reliable partner.
    grade: 9

    feel: in spite of being a stiffer string, feel was pretty impressive. i could play really nice and reliable touch shots and short angles, slices really had depth and that nasty low bounce, so a somewhat surprising mix of stiffness and touch.
    grade: 8

    spin: spin, both topspin and slice was really good, but yet again not in "spin monster" territory. the edges did not wear down very much so from this point of view it is one of the few strings that produces a pretty consistent spin amount over the due course of its lifetime.
    grade: 9

    comfort: for a stiffer string the comfort was quite good and even on off-center shots there was not a really harsh feeling. take not though that i string pretty low and also cross it with one of the softes multis available. i would most probably not play it full bed.
    grade: 8

    tension maintenance: really quite impressive as due to the nature of the test in summer, i had to keep some strings in the sticks for a longer period as usually, since i was switching constantly, so the time the string was in the stick ended up being about double than the regular time. of course there was a loss of playability over the time span, but it was within very reasonable limits and basically never posed any adjustment problems.
    grade: 9

    durability: i got almost 9 hours out of the string which is really pretty good.
    grade: 9

    overall: 59/70

    this overall-score and also the performance in some key points for my game make me want to try this out also in a slightly thinner gauge - thinking about 1.20mm. this will not happen anytime soon.
    as a sidenote: i don't really understand why solinco advertises this string as having 4 edges (square profile) while it most definitely has 5.
     
  27. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    weiss-cannon black5edge 1.24mm

    there are quite a lot of black pentagonal 1.24mm strings around and this seems to be another one of them. while there are definitely some seizable differences this time around to the other two contenders tested - the tecnifibre black code and the pro's pro blackout, the datails read out as follows:

    power: pretty decent and initially impressive in the sense that the softness and the way the string responds makes you feel there would be more to it than gets over the net. while i thought i was playing a heavier ball my opponent was not being impressed at all. nevertheless the performance is not bad for a poly, but with slightly diminishing returns on offcenter shots.
    grade: 7

    control: pretty decent performance in this chapter, it was rather easy to direct the ball to all the areas of the court. while i didn't have any issues with depth control, lateral control was a slight bit off, i was spraying a little bit with this set-up.
    grade: 8

    feel: since it is soft, and in my perception softer than the other aforementioned pentagonally shaped ones, initially you do feel tempted to assume it would also be a "touchy" string, but again the first impression is not going to be confirmed. touch shots were more difficult to play than with the definitely stiffer tour bite for instance, and i think that in this particular case it came down to the mix with the control. slices were sometimes taking off, so i think that it has a less linear stringbed response depending on the impact point on the stringbed.
    grade: 7

    spin: in spite of being softer than the other two pentagonals there was a decent amount of spin, no more no less. the profile did keep up pretty well for about half the playing time and then spin decreased to a small extent. please note that i'm talking here more in the sense of nuances as according to my stroking technique and my opinion, spin is a matter of swingpath and to a much lesser extent a matter of string profile. i would really argue that with the string you can get more than 5-7% additional rotations on the ball. so, even with the worn profile, the ball is still kicking up pretty nicely - provided you have the stroking technique for getting it to do so.
    grade: 8

    comfort: while i initially thought this string will be comfortable and i must confess that most of the time it is, i still had a surprising itch in my elbow and shoulder after playing with it an entire hitting session. i can only assume this has to do with the rather nonlinear response on offcenter shots. nothing to worry about, but preventing a basically comfy string from getting a better grade in this department.
    grade: 8

    tension maintenance: pretty good as the periods of being in the stick have been quite long, getting to some apparently unduly 4 weeks. usually i do go through strings quicker, but the way i conducted the tests this summer put some extra stress on the strings from this perspective.
    grade: 9

    durability: since i got also some 9 hitting hours out of this string i would say that it is amongst the top contenders in this department.
    grade: 9


    overall: 56/70

    while the experience with this string was really nice, i do have to confess that i was a little bit disappointed. i would have expected a little bit more after all the good feedback i was reading. it could nevertheless be that it does not really mate well with the mcs crosses or that it does not mate well with the stick. it still was an enjoyable ride nevertheless, but from my perspective i can get the same results really a lot cheaper or i can get better results for the same money.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    If you tried B5E/MCS and did not like it then B5E is just not for you. How would you compare the spin of Tour Bite and B5E?
     
  29. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    mikeler,

    the tour bite was spinning a slight bit more than the b5e. my problem with the b5e was that it seemed to be too comfy - even if that might sound somewhat weird. comfy but also very muted. i was missing a little bit of liveliness, of direct feedback, which of course is what is provided in most of the cases by the stiffer strings. nevertheless, the twisted razor or the ruff code did seem to provide this liveliness i'm looking for, even if they are also on the comfy side of things.

    i do think that it has a lot to do with the fact that i'm basically hitting in the upper part of the stringbed, i usually break at the 5-6th cross and i assume that the stringbed response is not so linear as with other strings on offcenter shots.

    while i did hit quite extensively with the tour bite (i got two sets of the hybrid for the test and i had another two of my own - that equalling some 30 hitting hours altogether) i would rather say that the 1.25 gauge is not really my cup of tea either in the long run. therefore, i might sometime give the slightly thinner gauge, 1.20mm, a try.
     
  30. GarryClarke

    GarryClarke Semi-Pro

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    fgs

    great thread and great reviews

    what rackets/string pattern,s have you tested out these hybrids???


    cheers garry
     
  31. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    garryclarke,

    thank you. i currently play the mantis 300 slightly modded with leather grips and some lead on the hoop to restore the initial balance. the stringpattern is 16 mains and 19 crosses.
     
  32. GarryClarke

    GarryClarke Semi-Pro

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    fgs

    thanks for the reply and want to try a couple of your hybrids MPP/MCS in my pd,
    having the same string pattern is great as i can go with your 46/46 tension

    many thanks Garry
     
  33. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    kirschbaum black shark 1.25mm

    during summer i participated in a blindtest with a profiled black poly with a 1.25mm diameter. i just recently checked out what the poly was, as we knew it was no prototype and i found out surprisingly that it was the kirschbaum black shark. as far as i know this is basically a pro line II with a profile, so looking up my older ratings i was really surprised to see that i rated the "unknown" string very close to it's round "brother".

    power: this is a moderately high powered string but with an obviously not very linear response to offcenter shots, which tend to fade away.
    grade: 7

    control: initially pretty good, slightly above average for a poly, height and depth could be rather easily dialled in. towards the end of it's lieftime though things got rather out of hand, the last hour was pretty erratical.
    grade: 8

    feel: while the string is on the soft side of polys at first the impression is quite good. but due to the nonlinear response of the stringbed, some balls just randomly disperse. some droppers get nasty and others from very similar situations turn into sitters for the opponent.
    grade: 7

    spin: there is some action on the ball but the profile wore down towards the end of the first hitting session, afterwards the spin is just average as with most polys.
    grade: 8

    comfort: it plays pretty comfortable and does not get jarring on offcenter-shots as some of the stiffer polys, but due to the fact that it makes you work more on those just an average mark is appropriate.
    grade: 7

    tension maintenance: at first it was pretty good, but then, around the 5hrs. mark it dropped off pretty steeply and balls would get uncontrollable. due to the fact that the entire lifespan was rather short - just about 6 hitting hours - this second drop-off in tension is not very disturbing though.
    grade: 8

    durability: just 6 hours of mostly matchplay is just below average for a poly in my case. if it would have been 6 hours of intensive drilling a higher mark would have surely been appropriate.
    grade: 6

    overall: 51/70

    the red pro line II i played quite a while ago, also sports 51 points in my book and there are only slight differences obviously, like the round one developing a little bit more power but less spin. the biggest difference is in the tension maintenance department, but that is due to the fact that i played the por line II for almost 8 hours at that time, crossed with the wilson sensation 1.25, and the second tension drop-off occured also around the 5hrs. point, only that meant at about "half-time" in terms of durability. so durability was rated higher and tension maintenance worse. nevertheless i found it interesting to compare these figures over a two years span and basically with a different cross.
     
  34. fgs

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    tyger rough poly 1,25mm

    the rough poly is a soft black string shaped like a five-leaved clover (no better idea of how to describe the shape). strining was fairly easy as the string was rather soft.

    power: for a poly it was rather powerful and the most interesting aspect was that it had a fairly linear response on offcenter shots, which made getting balls back with decent depth rather easy when pulled out wide. in this department i was really pleased.
    grade: 8

    control: in spite of being rather powerful, control still was at a failry decent level, even for a soft poly. length was not so much the issue interestingly but rather lateral control and i had a harder time hitting sharp angles than with the top contenders so far. nevertheless, by tweaking a little bit with tension i think this could be adjusted for.
    grade: 8

    feel: while soft and basically nice to play in the sense that there was no itches in the arm, the touch department is just about slightly above average. droppers did come in pretty good but touch volleys were a little bit more difficult to handle.
    grade: 8

    spin: in spite of the shape spin was not more than at a decent level. it grabbed the ball pretty nicely but i have played with round polys that managed to put more rpm's on the ball. besides, the profile wears down after some 3 hitting hours but spin production does not seem very affected by this.
    grade: 8

    comfort: really pleasing. no harshness whatsoever, even on offcentershots, so this is definitely above average and pretty close to the best in this department.
    grade: 9

    tension maintenance: pretty good but then i think that i didn't really get much time to drop tension. it lasted only for about some 6 hitting hours, two of which have nevertheless been pretty intensive. during this time span however it really performed pretty well, the tension loss from one session to the other was hardly noticeable.
    grade: 8

    durability: 6 hours is not really much. while it is true nevertheless that i play mostly with my son and since he's growing his strokes also get heavier, i still think that i should have gotten more out of these strings. i'll run some tests with my reference set-up for comparison, since i don't want to rule out that we have moved now from an average of 8 hours to one of 6. last year something similar happened when we moved from 10-11 hrs to roughly 8, so i do not want to rule out that at the current level of play the durability expectancy has to be revised. until then...
    grade: 6

    overall: 55/70

    judging merely by the playing characteristics this string is a quite interesting option as it scores rather close to strings like tour bite or black code / blackout, when you factor out the durability grade.
     
  35. fgs

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    gamma moto 1.29mm - 16 (lime)

    had the chance to test this string, although i am basically playing thinner gauges. no issues with stringing, seemed to be a medium soft string, which has been confirmed by the court experience later.

    power: for a poly and for the rather thick gauge it was rather powerful, but i had difficulties in putting the ball away.
    grade: 7

    control: during the initial two hitting sessions control was at a respectable level, both in terms of depth and lateral placement. during the third hitting session a rather steep tension loss occured and then the string started spraying. quite a lot of balls sailed long and the slices pretty regularly got too much air too. spinning the ball more bailed me out for a while but during the fourth (and last) session balls started flying too long too.
    grade: 7

    feel: not really good. touch shots didn't really work not even when fresh.
    grade: 7

    spin: pretty good during the first two session but not really impressive. once tension loss settled in it started to be difficult to hit sharp angled shots keeping up the speed. shots seemed to get flatter with the lower tension so i started to brush more steeply over the ball, also in order to improve on the control of the stroke as mentioned earlier.
    grade: 8

    comfort: above average but not in the upper echelon. in spite of the thickness the string never got jarring nor did i get any mentionable shoulder problems. even offcenter-shots were "comfy" (as comfy as such shots can be).
    grade: 8

    tension maintenance: after the settling loss during the first 24hrs after stringing quite good for the next couple of hitting sessions (over a span of three days), but then a second tension loss incurred and the string got into sort of a rocketlauncher-mode. while still controllable with spin, slices went regularly long - reminded me very much of the kirschbaum pro line II (red) or the more recently played kirschbaum black shark.
    grade: 7

    durability: it lasted 8 hours, some of which have been pretty intensive hitting sessions. so, this is a fairly good time currently, but you also have to take into account the thickness. i now regularly go through 1.25mm strings around the 6hrs mark (my son starts hitting heavier and heavier:)).
    grade: 9

    overall: 53/70

    according to my book, this string is in "good" company - other strings getting to 53-54 points on my rating scale are msv focus hex 1.23, genesis typhoon (grey), kirschbaum black shark 1.25, kirschbaum pro line II 1.25 (red) to name just a few.
    i might be tempted to try out the thinner version, eventually in black - i speculate on a somewhat higher intial settling loss and due to the shorter timewindow of play that the second tension loss does not occur before breaking. i also expect a little bit more in the touch-department from the thinner gauge, as a medium soft poly should be capable of producing a better showing in this respect.
     
  36. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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  38. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  39. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Nadal hits balls with double the RPMs that players hit with a few decades ago. Do you think if we gave him a 1960's wooden racket with nylon strings that he would achieve 95% of the RPMs he currently achieves? When pros talk about how much difference in spin the newer strings produce, are they deluded? Let's retire this 95% meme, please.
     
  40. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    clarkc,

    there are obviously a lot of things you got wrong sir:

    1. i can only rely on my opinion when i'm expressing it, so it will always be ME. we can have obviously different opinions, but then your opinion is 100% ME from your point of view.

    2. i never said strings don't make a difference, but what you seem not to be able to understand is that if they play the same string in the same setup in the same stick, nadal yould still hit twice as much rpm's than delpo or berdych for instance, simply because it is a matter of technique.

    could you imagine that with his stroking technique jimmy connors would get similar amounts of spin on the ball as nadal?
    while playing the same string tsonga has much less spin than nadal. so, it is obviously a matter of technique.

    i play tennis for over 40 years now and i can assure you that in the time of wooden sticks poly would have been unplayable at competitional level. through larger headsizes and the switch to carbon frames only has natty gut become somehow obsolete in fullbeds. why? mainly for cost reasons, as no emerging pro would be able to pay for an expensive stringjob every hour. so, in order to "tame" the power of the carbon sticks and count in the stringpatterns!!! - we have 60-80% more surface but still 16 x 19 patterns for instance! - the poly string came as a solution. it brought along a change in technique, a player like connors or johnny mac would have no real chance today with their old technique, which was wonderful for the frames and strings of their time, but today we are somewhere else on the way.

    a flat striker would be getting the same rpm's with a textured poly than he would with syngut. if he has the propper stroking mechanics, then indeed he will get 30% more spin out of poly as opposed to syngut. but i'm basically talking about the fact that textured strings so far are not providing excessively more spin than round polys over the entire lifetime of the stringbed. you mention nadal, and i want to politely ask you if you do also switch to fresh stringjobs every 9 games?

    the quote you made is from the beginning of this thread some two years ago. i have played quite a few textured/shaped strings since then and i can say that the vast majority of them do provide somewhere between 5-10% more rpm's during the first hour of hitting. then, as the profile wears down, it's getting less and less and eventually goes below the spin provided by a round poly. so far, very few of the shaped strings i played did provide additional levels of spin over the entire lifetime compared to round ones.
     
  41. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    While your point is taken, never mind giving Nadal a 60s wooden racquet, but if you give him a Prestige Mid with 18x20 and string with syn gut, he could probably achieve almost as much spin. I would wager at least 80-90% of his current spin, definitely not only half as much.

    I think the point is not that "95%" is the true percentage, but still remains "the majority" of the spin (i.e. at least more than 50%) comes from technique. Give someone who hits flat a Babolat APD with RPM and the ball doesn't "receive" spin from the racquet/string.

    Yes, the modern polys and racquet do "enhance" and "amplify" the spin you produce, as long as the technique is there. So I think we agree, 95% may be over-exagerrated, but it definitely accounts for 60-80% of the spin one produces?
     
  42. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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  43. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    this is a carpet with some rubber grains so you can basically slide quite similar to a clay court. these kind of courts are pretty widespread in austria for indoor-courts, they are a little bit faster than a dry claycourt and the ball bounces a little bit flatter than on clay, but it rather easy to adjust. also claycourt shoes are the way to go, as otherwise it would get too slippery.

    happy the youtube links work. still have to figure out how to make some longer videos without sacrificing too much resolution and keep the file-size at an acceptable level.
     
  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, that is what I played on. A carpet with some grains on it. My partner got injured on it from sliding. He took a bad fall. Luckily he healed up in time for us to play on red clay right before I left back for the USA.
     
  45. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    it can be very tricky as the sliding is a little bit different than on clay and eventually you get off balance. i myself had a really bad fall on such a surface at the beginning of february when i sprained my left wrist pretty badly - still not completely painfree currently but i can hit my backhand fully again without trouble. i had to play onehanded for almost two months, which was a pretty big change in footwork.
     
  46. ClarkC

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    No need for a lengthy rebuttal of all this nonsense. It seems that your statements wander all over the place. Of course someone who hits a pure flat ball does not try to generate spin and will not tend to rate one string much spinnier than another. And the original quote was not about whether a textured poly has 5% more spin than a smooth poly at first. Lots of factors affect spin, as you noted, including technique and racquet head size (which enables more extreme grips and a different swing technique) and string density. And of course Nadal with his technique will generate more spin than Connors with his technique.

    The point is simple: With his current racquets and technique, putting one of the least spinny strings in Nadal's racquet would reduce his spin by more than 5%. All other arguments are straw men and red herrings. A lot of players today have tried out different strings and have felt more than a 5% difference, and they did not change their racquets, head sizes, string densities, or techniques. They just changed their strings. Read all of the string reviews in this section of TW, and tell me if everyone is experimenting within a 5% range of spin.
     
  47. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    clarkc,

    you still seem to have missed the word poly in the thread title. put syngut in any stick and nadal would have at least 30% less spin or any other player with adequate technique, but i am talking about poly and i still am of the opinion than in the final outcome, rpm's on the ball, the differences between round vs. shaped vs. structured POLYS are in a range of about max. 10%.
     
  48. ClarkC

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    OK, maybe I misunderstood the wording of the original post. The spin range among different polys of decent quality could certainly be small, I concede that.
     
  49. fgs

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    luxilon alu power rough 1.25

    the past two weeks i have spent playing alu power strings. i have played the regular alu power in the past, in my modded nblades 106's and have loved the first three-four hitting hours and have cursed the remaining eight. some things have changed in the mean time, besides me playing other sticks, so i thought of giving them another go. after having gone through three sets of mains with the alu power rough, here are my findings:

    power: i think that there is no news in respect to the rather low powered nature of these strings. one might ask why they put the word power into the product name, but then you might consider that they produce strings for big bangers and those bring their own power to the court. in my opinion, the string is lower powered but that does not have to mean something negative. i pretty much got every time what i put into the stroke and in this respect i consider it to be pretty much where i like a string to be, specially when you consider the blend of power and control.
    grade: 7

    control: i personally would have found it more appropriate to introduce the word control into the product name. this string is definitely a control string. i could do pretty much whatever i wanted with the ball, in this respect i do know just one other string that i find to be able to do the same, that is the mantis power polyester. short angled topspin passing-shots, low bouncing slice approach shots, you name it, these strings have it.
    grade: 10

    feel: now this is a really weird thing - in spite of the fact that i could hit almost any touch shot on demand, wicked droppers, topspin lobs, there is something about these strings that is not really appealing to me. i can't really name it, it's a weird feeling that the ball is staying too long on the stringbed. the other top notch polys in my book score 9 in this department, the only string so far (as a main!) scoring 10 is the ashaway monogut zx. there is a certain ease in the execution of these shots, basically with the same results!, that puts the ashaway above the others. i can't think of anything else but saying that it is like a basically perfect meal just missing a little bit of pepper.
    grade: 8

    spin: this string really spins alright. it grabs the ball really nice and it is really wicked. interestingly, the "crimped" sort of strings i have played so far have proven in my setup a rather good retention of the shape in the sense of resistance to wear. therefore, the spin-enhancement is kept for about the entire lifetime of the strings. i have had five-edged ones that started out promising just to fade away after three-four hours (including the alu power spin which is already in two of my sticks but not yet ready for a thorough report). top-notch spin.
    grade: 10

    comfort: i think i don't have to mention that the entire alu power range is not really comfortable. they are low powered stiff strings. i have strung them low, as basically all the other poly mains too, and probably also because i'm playing a rather high swingweight, the strings stiffness is not really bothering be, but it is quite at the borderline (and this with a really very soft cross string!). interestingly i don't get "bad vibes" on offcentershots, while other "softer" strings felt more uncomfortable than this one.
    grade: 8

    tension maintenance: my memories in this respect have been close to awful, but this time around some things have changed. i have always stated that this is an issue very strictly related of the time window a player has. first time around, as i already mentioned, the strings broke after some 12 hitting hours. now, they broke much faster, therefore they played pretty well in terms of tension drop until very close to their demise. interestingly they seems to also do better than either the alu power or the alu power spin. since there was no bigger second tension drop during the (short) lifetime of the string, the grade is higher this time.
    grade: 9

    durability: now this is the bad news, and obviously it's bad for my wallet. my son is growing and i started playing also with some better playing guys at the club, so that generally (valid for all strings!!!) durability has gone down dramatically. the alu power rough did not make the fifth hitting hour - none of the three sets of mains that i played. it varied from slightly above four hitting hours to slightly under five. please also understand the tension maintenance grade from this perspective - it had no time to drop off. as a matter of fact, i have recently played the mantis power poly which also did not survive the fifth hitting hour, the gamma poly-z for instance going in slightly under three.
    grade: 5

    overall: 57/70

    this seems to be a low overall score when compared to the other strings in my survey so far, but taking durability out of the equation would still qualify it in the top six.

    would i play with it? if i got it for free anytime, if i have to pay for it it is rather unlikely. there are some strings that, maybe in a little bit different mix of characteristics, do fare a slightly little bit better and come at less than half the price.

    it is a top notch string for those who can (or are willing to) afford it AND HAVE A RATHER SHORT TIME WINDOW!!! if you don't break it reasonably fast then just steer away.

    the regular alu power would get a point less in "control", "spin" and interestingly "tension maintenance". towards the end of it's lifetime the stringbed softened up more than the rough version.

    in about a weeks time i'll let you know how the alu power spin did.
     
  50. fgs

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    luxilon alu power spin 1.27

    most of the characterstics of this string i have already described in my previous post about the alu power rough, so that i'll make this one rather short:

    power: slightly less than the rough but basically in the same category.
    grade: 7

    control: less than with the rough, but more than with the round alu power. depth control and trajectory are more difficult to control with this one than with the ruff - but that obviously is a direct consequence of the way i hit the ball. flatter hitters may find exactly the opposite, having more control with the round one and less with the spin or rough.
    grade: 9

    feel: less "touchy" than the rough. also plays slightly stiffer, but basically in the same category.
    grade: 8

    spin: less than the rough. still spinning pretty well but not in rough territory. comparable to spinny round polys as mantis power poly or kirschbaum competition. interestingly, the shape wore down after three hitting hours in the impact area, but this is not unusual with shaped strings as i have come to find out in the mean time.
    grade: 9

    comfort: nothing to really complain about but nothing to write home about either. felt a little bit stiffer on offcentershots than the rough but basically in the same category.
    grade: 8

    tension maintenance: same as the rough, but once again this has to be seen in conjunction with the durability.
    grade: 9

    durability: slightly less than the rough, which i find intersting, since it has a slightly larger diameter. one set of mains broke before the second hitting session ended, that is slightly short of 4 hours, the other made it like 20minutes longer. the rough lastes for slightly less than 5. same balls, same hitting partners.
    grade: 4

    overall: 54/70

    in my opinion the rough does everything a little bit better then either the spin or the regular alu power.

    next up will be the adrenalines. i pretty much liked the 1.20 adrenaline when i played it some three years ago, but that was in my old modded nblades 106's. the adrenaline rough is strung on two of my sticks and will get a first ride tomorrow morning.
     

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