Tension: crosses vs mains

Discussion in 'Strings' started by nglaser, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. nglaser

    nglaser New User

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    Its a no brainier when stringing multi mains & poly crosses to strings the crosses about 4 pounds less than the mains. What about when they are switched; poly mains & multi crosses. If I string multi mains @ 58 & poly crosses @ 54 then switched what tension is recommended? I'm thinking a good starting point would be to string both @ 56 and go from there.
     
    #1
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    What are you trying to hope to achieve by changing tensions in mains vs crosses?

    Poly is going to lose tension much faster than a multi anyway, so why drop the reference tension?
     
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  3. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    I was having the same question whether I should try to have different tension in poly and multi if to goal is to create more ball pocketting and spin?

    My daughter's current hybrid set up is NXT 16cross and smooth poly main. Both strung at 54 lbs.

    Drak....what do you think will create more pocketing and more spin friendly..... either to lower tension in main poly only or lower in both main and cross?
     
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  4. JohnB

    JohnB Rookie

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    Isn't it most important to set the tension mains/crosses in such a way that frame doesn't distort?
    If that's true, there is little you can do except changing mains vs crosses or change stringtype/tension all together?
     
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  5. nglaser

    nglaser New User

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    I always string the crosses 2 to 4 #'s less than the mains even when using the same strings in both, so do a lot of other people. You do this to equalize the tension across the string bed. Are yo saying you string a poly at the same tension you string a multi?? If so you are in the minority.
     
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  6. PKfan1

    PKfan1 Semi-Pro

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    I don't think I've seen people stringing mains tighter. It's always crosses 1-3 lbs tighter, because there is so much more friction pulling tension on the crosses that your actual tension will be much less than your reference tension .

    If you have that much of a tension deficit in your crosses it will distort and shorten the frame.
     
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  7. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you want more spin and better ball pocketing, put the nxt in the mains, and poly in the crosses.

    I strung over 5000 frames last year, and have already strung over 3000 this year, which includes stringing at pro tournaments. I sincerely doubt I'm in the minority. Majority of players from pro to weekend warriors pick a reference tension and stick to it (mains and crosses).

    Funny thing is, that when someone wants a differing tension (mains vs crosses, or vice versa) and I ask them what they are trying to accomplish by doing this, they don't have a clue, and simply state, someone told them to string like this and they have stuck to it.

    From my experience, europeans, when they string with different tensions, typically string the mains 1-2 kg tighter than crosses.

    Remember, the longest strings in the frame are the mains, which would make more sense doing it this way, if one wants to make the string bed more "proportional".
     
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  8. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    Drakulie, I am very skeptical if you are saying the pros you have strung for are stringing the mains and crosses the same tension even if they are using a hybrid. I have seen numerous web pages and threads on this board showing a great deal of variety in string tensions between mains and crosses. There is plenty of information showing Roger Federer's tensions.

    Tim Straw just had an article in, I believe, RSI magazine in which he states you should string poly 20lbs below the tension you were used to stringing your multi. He says it twice for impact. I think 20lbs is a little much but it does lead to questions as to what tensions to use in a hybrid string job. If you strung you multi over the years at 60lbs and now decide you are going to try a poly/multi hybrid, are you going to string the poly in the mains at 40lbs (as Tim suggests) and the multi at 60lbs like normal. I don't think so but you are not going to string them both at 60lbs as you suggest.

    There are many reasons why people use different tensions between mains and crosses. They do it for spin, feel, not to distort the racquet, power, control and so on.
     
    #8
  9. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    You need to keep things in perspective and remember that "pros" means number 1 to 1000. Not just the top ten or twenty.

    But yes, I would say most pros, even when requesting 4 knots (two piece) or with hybrids typically string them the same tension.

    Correct. For instance, Tipsarevic, whom I strung for exclusively at Delray last year requested two knots (one piece), and 26kg mains 25 kg crosses. On the flip side, Andreev, requested 4 knots, and 24 kg (mains and crosses with same string, BBO). He also strung 24/22 kg.

    But here are some other pros:

    Donald Young, Solinco 63 lbs (one piece).
    Jack Sock, Pro Hurricane Tour 38 lbs (two piece).
    DelPotro, Alu Power, 56 lbs (one piece).
    Marty Fish, Gut Mains, Timo crosses, 55lbs. (pre stretched both gut and timo)
    kei Nishikori, Alu Rough mains 50, gut crosses 52. also 51/53.
    Sam Querrey, one piece 60 and also 62 lbs.
    Ryan Harrison, Pro Hurricane Tour Mains 56, Gut Crosses 60.
    Wayne Odesnik, BBO two piece 50 lbs. (now twisted razor)
    Kim Klijsters, gut 30kg
    Jim Courier, gosen mains/alu power crosses, 60 lbs.
    Dominic Thiem, IsoSpeed, two piece 26kg
    etc,
    etc,
    etc.

    As you could see, from my experience, which also includes futures and challengers, and nationals, most players just provide one tension, regardless of one or two piece, or if they are even hybriding.


    I know Tim very well and respect him a whole lot. He does a fantastic job stringing, teaching all about stringing, getting the word out, and making the stringing profession more recognized in the tennis community as a whole to make it more respectable. His symposium, which I have attended and was planning to attend again this year, but due to stringing at the national ATA and then Cincy Masters will not be able to attend, is in a simple description, Fantastic.

    That said, I completely disagree with him. For example, what if someone strings their frame with regular synthetic at 35lbs? Are we to now string their frame at 15 lbs with a poly? I don't think so.

    Tim is a big advocate of stringing low, especially with poly, and pushes proprotional stringing a lot. If that works for his clients, great. But make no mistake, it doesn't make it "law", nor has their been any evidence to suggest it will be the end all be all for every player. If this were the case, every pro would be stringing in the 30's or with one tension in the mains and another in the crosses, which they clearly aren't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
    #9
  10. monkey-ranch

    monkey-ranch Banned

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    The master has spoken!
     
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  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    monkey, how are you?? I was going to call you but haven't had a chance. Priority One contacted me to ask if I would join them at Cincy this year. I'm psyched!!!

    Also, don't forget about the miami challenger next year. I already have your space booked. You have to join me. We are going to have FUN, fun fun!!!
     
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  12. monkey-ranch

    monkey-ranch Banned

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    All good over here Drak! You lucky boy stringing on Cincy! I would sell my soul for a gig there! Count me in on Miami!
     
    #12
  13. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    Drakulie you did not address the issue of tension in hybrids. Your first post in this thread suggests that there is no reason for having different tensions in the mains and crosses when stringing a poly/multi or nylon combination.

    Are you suggesting that a poly main/cross and a multi or nylon main/cross hybrid should have the same tension. If so that goes against everything that we hear from the experts and the string manufactures. We see a wide variety of tensions mixes if the links below are true.

    http://www.tenniszoo.com/archived-n...what-the-pros-use-racketsstrings-and-tensions

    http://www.stringforum.net/board/showthread.php?t=1132
     
    #13
  14. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    I think drak is saying that most people who ask for different tension for the mains/crosses don't know why they are doing so.

    But there is merit in doing so if you know what you are doing or why.

    A person of drak's calibre, knows alot more about strings and stringing than just about anybody on these boards.
     
    #14
  15. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    So Xonemains, you are saying go with Drakulie's suggestion to string mains and crosses the same and ignore the string manufacturer's instructions to string poly 10-15% lower? Or are you saying to string your poly the same as your multi? If I string my racquet with VS Gut mains at 60lbs should I string my poly crosses at 60lbs also? That's what is being said in this thread and it's complete nonsense.
     
    #15
  16. jman32

    jman32 Rookie

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    Hi Drak,

    i had a similar question. my preferred setup is Alu power @ 47 pounds CP full bed in a prestige pro prostock: 12.4oz 355 SW. i hit hard (for a 4.0/4.5) with a good amount of spin (mostly top, some BH slice) and will flatten out depending on the ball. i am a winner from any spot kind of guy (for which i am trying to control) directional and depth control is very important to me on groundies as well as flat serves.

    i am considering putting syn gut in crosses to:
    to soften the feel
    be easier on my arm
    improving amount of time i can play with a string job
    save some money

    will hybriding achieve my goals? will a hybrid lose the direction and depth control mentioned above?

    I am am not sure what a good tension would be on the crosses. conventional wisdom says 45-47 pounds, will this give too much power. i was thinking to go higher in the crosses, say in the 50-52 pound range?

    what tension would you suggest in this scenario?

    i have OG sheep, do you have a suggested syn gut for this situation? pref not too expensive

    thanks for your help and experience.
     
    #16
  17. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    One of my goals on determining cross/main tension differential is racquet distortion. Measure your racquet dimensions after you cut out the old strings and BEFORE you mount the racquet on the stringer. Then measure the dimensions again after you complete the string job and remove the racquet from the stringer.

    How much distortion are you getting? On my racquet a 2lb difference results in virtually no racquet distortion. The less distortion, the better my stick seems to play...
     
    #17
  18. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    The only time to typically heed the "string poly 10-15% lower" advice is for first-time users of the poly that want to string it in a full bed. Manufacturers advise such so that people don't get arm pain or get completely shocked by the stiffness of moving from full syn gut at 60lbs to full poly at 60lbs, for example. Otherwise, players can have success using poly everywhere from 22 lbs (F Volandri) to 68 lbs (J Blake). Most Recreational players though, should stay lower than 55, or they end up killing their arms, hence the "-10-15%" advice on packaging.

    However, I think you are confused when it comes to hybrids, as for instance, 60 lbs gut mains, "most" people will string poly crosses at 58 or 57 (but some can also do 60, which is not at all "nonsense", while some may do 56# crosses at most, typically), but to drop it the "15%" would be crosses at *51*: and this setup, a *60lb gut main/51lb poly cross*, will possibly warp a frame, and also just play erratically. As poly also leaks tension more than other string types, it will go downhill fast.

    I've seen a frame go from oval shaped to more circular from gut mains doing this, even after a 'normal' stringing of 60/56, as over enough time the crosses will have leaked up to twice as much tension than the mains, and the gut mains will be pulling strong, as gut holds tension exceptionally. Even 60/54 (using the -10% idea), would not be great advice, and you don't see many people doing this. The general consensus is to sometimes drop crosses about 1-3 pounds from mains, which will slightly alter the shape of the sweetspot as compared to crosses the same or stiffer than mains.

    Stiffer frames may not warp or anything, but the playability is going to be compromised the more space you create between mains and crosses. I've tried it before stringing mains at 60 and crosses in the 40s... worst idea ever.

    Here's more pro data:
    Djokovic, Novak
    Head Youtek Speed Pro
    Wilson Natural/Luxilon Alu Power 1.25
    61/59
    Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 2009

    Federer, Roger
    Wilson K Six.One Tour 90
    Wilson Natural/Luxilon Alu Rough 1.25
    50/47
    Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 2009

    Murray, Andy
    Head Youtek Radical
    Luxilon Alu Power 1.25/Babolat VS
    60/60
    Australian Open 2010

    Volandri, Filippo
    Head
    Luxilon poly
    10.5/10.5 (23 pounds)
    Roland Garros 2009

    Blake, James
    Dunlop 200G
    Luxilon Alu Power 1.25
    68/68
    BNP Paribas Open 2011
     
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  19. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    GlenK is dead on. Distortion is to be avoided at all costs.
     
    #19
  20. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    Hi Clintspin,

    You didn't read my post right. I never said do exactly what drak says.

    You can do whatever you want with tension, but I will say this.

    Do not go more than 4 lbs difference in tension in between mains and crosses. You will wrap the frame over time.

    So in your case, I would not go under 56lbs for crosses or over 64lbs.

    Read my sig, don't use the same tension either:)

    Good luck with it.
     
    #20
  21. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Will you be accessible in Cincy where we can stop in and say HI!
     
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  22. schap02

    schap02 Semi-Pro

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    That's usually my philosophy....
    Then - when stringing full poly jobs I usually drop crosses a pound or two depending on what frame....opens up the sweet-spot...IMO
     
    #22
  23. ginoC

    ginoC New User

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    New to the board, but have strung for near 20 years. I've thought about this subject many times, and believe that Glen K approach is the most practical, i.e. measure your frame before and after stringing to see what's really going on. For me, the intent of using different tensions should be to ensure that the mains and crosses work uniformly. Noting that typically the Xs are 20-25% shorter than the Ms, it would seem that reducing the tension on the Xs makes sense. However, there's the matter of tension losses at the crossovers and at the frame. How much is anybody's guess, and is why I endorsed Glen K's approach. Also keep in mind that as you string the Xs, you're actually increasing the tension of the mains as the mains being forced to go over and under the Xs. There used to be a stringing machine called TruTension whose design intent was to reduce/minimize all aforementioned tension losses. It specified a significant tension reduction when doing the Xs to account for the shorter length. I'm not a big fan of hybrid stringing unless you string your racket after every match like the top pros do, since, as mentioned previously by others, the tension loss of the Ms and Xs will be uneven-- what is perfect when freshly strung will become less and less perfect the longer you play with it. Recommend most regular players stay with a full bed of whatever.
     
    #23
  24. stoneage

    stoneage Rookie

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    With different strings in the mains and crosses the tension can be used to emphasize one or the other. With a gut/poly combination increasing the gut tension and decreasing the poly will make the gut carry more of the load and will probably give more "gut feeling" :)

    Also remember that the string bed is deformed quite a lot during impact and the tension situation will be different from the undeformed racquet. The crosses will increase their tension a little more since they are shorter. A poly will increase its tension much more than gut since it is stiffer.

    Another effect to consider is that the strings also affect the racquet frame stiffness. The mains decrease the stiffness and the crosses increase it (to a lesser extent). The combined effect is that the strings makes the racquet softer. So increasing the tensions in the mains and lower the crosses will increase this effect. How large this effect is depends on the stiffness of the frame.

    /Sten

    ___________________________________________________________
    racquetTune, stringBed and swingTool racquet apps for the iPhone/iPad.
     
    #24
  25. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    What is your suggestion for Yonex sticks in which they suggest stringing the crosses 5% lower?

    I use the courier setup : syn gut mains/poly crosses and like my tension at 55.
     
    #25
  26. lynnbart

    lynnbart Rookie

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    I've been stringing the poly about 4 lbs lower than the synthetic no matter whether they are in the mains or the crosses.

    Have I been doing that wrong ?

    My son's stick usually gets 54 lb poly mains with 58 lb syn/gut crosses. My stick will get 54 lb syn/gut mains with 50 lb poly crosses.
     
    #26
  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Who are these "experts", and where is their concrete evidence that doing this has a benefit, if any? I will remind you that the jury is still out.

    One thing we know for certain is that crosses are shorter than mains, therefore, stringing them lower, theoretically, would make the string bed more proportional, and cause less frame distortion. Doing it the other way around will make the racquet longer. So yeah, I guess if you wanted to buy an extended racquet, and mistakenly purchased the 27 inch, this would be the way to go.

    I don't know of any concrete testing that proves one will get more spin, power, control, or go from say a 3.0 to a 4.0 as hinted by the JET method by stringing mains and/or crosses at differing tensions. At the end of the day, every stringing method will cause tension loss and the strings will move around to orient themselves accordingly, so whatever "advantage" you think you are getting will disappear very quickly. In many cases probably before you even get to play with the frame.

    Regarding what is recommended by manufacturers,,,,,,, they quickly learned that players complained of the strings feeling too stiff, so naturally, wanting to make money and sell more strings, they put a sticker on the strings saying, "string 10 or 15% looser".

    At the end of the day, I haven't in this thread suggested do one or the other. I simply asked the OP why he was doing this and what he was hoping to achieve, because by and large, most people don't have a clue when being asked that question. They mostly answer, "that is what I was told to do".


    jman, my advice would be to start at the same tension (mains/crosses), especially since you are adding a new variable to the equation (the gosen crosses).

    If you beging changing too many things at once, you'll begin chasing your tail. For example, lets say you put the gosen in the crosses and change the reference tension and hate it, you might not be sure if you hated the change in tension or the gosen.

    By the way, gosen is a very underrated string. It is very solid, and does everything well. heck, Courier is still using it in the mains. :)

    Good luck!

    I believe one would need credentials to get to the area I will be in. Additionally, when stringing at these events, it is hard to get away,,,,,, one could spend the first 5-6 days stringing 16 hours straight.
     
    #27
  28. stoneage

    stoneage Rookie

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    I agree completely! There are a lot of "experts" who base their opinions on hearsay and wishful thinking. And the less some people know the more inclined they are make a dogmatic statement :)

    If you use the same strings and increase the tension in one direction and decrease it the same amount in the other, I would say that you will get very little effect since the stiffness of the string bed is fairly constant. If you use different strings you will have some effect. But it will depend on several of factors and you can't say that one is right and the other is wrong.

    I ran a simulation in StringBed with one racquet strung with polys at 24 kg in both directions and one that had gut at 26 kg in the mains and polys with 24 kg in the crosses. The result was that the all poly was 5% softer for small deformations (very light hits) and 5% stiffer for heavy loads (world class drives). Just as an indication that there is no simple truth.

    So the only way to know for sure what you prefer is to string two racquets and play with them, preferable with knowing which is which.

    /Sten

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    #28
  29. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Crickets chirping.....
     
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  30. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I always string the soft string +3-5 lbs in soft string/poly hybrids. The luxilon string site recommended this and I have seen it recommended on other stringing sites by "experts". The idea is to compensate for the extra stiffness and lower resiliency of the poly.

    Poly mains at 50 with multi cross at 53-55 is an example; poly will not stretch much and higher tension on multi brings it inline with poly resilency.

    Gut mains at 55, with poly cross at 50-52 is another example. Stiff poly cross at lower tension plays comparable to soft main. Also, allows gut to slide and return.

    I have been using this approach for 6 years for my rackets and my friends.

    In same type string setup , I would drop cross tension 2 lbs or use same reference. Longer mains a bit tighter, lower crosses to allow mains to slide.

    You are not doing it "wrong" with this hybrid approach.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
    #30
  31. lynnbart

    lynnbart Rookie

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    TennisCJC's post sums up what I've been trying to do since I started experienting with hybrids. 4lbs difference is the most I've split.
     
    #31
  32. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    Drak,
    What would you recommend for a 98 sq.in. racquet if:

    I normally string with Solinco Revolution 1.20 on a full stringbed at 48 pounds Mains and Crosses on a Babolat Stat 5 but want to go with a poly/gut hybrid? Would you just string the racquet at 48 pounds poly main and 48 pounds natural gut crosses?

    Like you said, I don't know why but I always thought that you are suppose to string the gut 3-4 pounds tighter than the poly. I was thinking of stringing it 48 pounds main with poly and 52 pounds crosses with natural gut. Would you advise against this?
     
    #32
  33. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I say it depends on what copoly you put in the cross. I usually go with a 5 or 6lbs difference because natural gut is way too powerful at lower tension range so I have mine strung at 58lbs for natural gut mains and 52 or 53lbs for copoly cross.

    If it's Luxilon string, I go even further down to 49lbs as it is much stiffer than the newer generation of copolys.
     
    #33
  34. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Other than hybriding with gut where I agree with a tighter tension on the gut when set as mains that 2 or 3 pound diff with poly syn gut multi hybrid combos is nothing short of mental floss. Tension loss will exist anyways and what you are looking for is a stringed reference at the end that you like. And if your string that loses tension faster starts lower significantly then you get into the realm of changing the characteristics of the racquet and possibly it's true natural engineered shape. Any REC player should not waste time doing this with a racquet that will be used for more than one or two hours of play. Stay with one tension and adjust up or down to find your overall reference.
     
    #34
  35. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    I love it here.. you guys are all so knowledgeable and fun to read. I have learned so much just by reading various threads :)
     
    #35
  36. v205

    v205 Semi-Pro

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    1-2 kg tension difference shouldn't distort the frame too much to cause any problem?

    A one piece method should even out the stringbed eventually over time?

    Has anyone compared 2 piece and 1 piece (using just one type of string) strung at same tension and compare the performance and tension loss over time?
     
    #36
  37. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I have Gut at 54 and cross poly at 48 and it hits great.
     
    #37

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