The CULT OF STRINGS ( very funny )

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Pro_Tour_630, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    There was a similar thread that was done by ohplease many years ago (thanks to him) on frames. I just thought we should do one about strings. I added some lines to his thread so feel free to add your thoughts but not before you tell us what stage you are currently at with your strings. I am at entering stage 8, UPDATE: stage 9

    Stage 1: You don't know a tennis strings from chicken wire or weed wacker , but it doesn't matter cause you're having fun.

    Stage 2: You can tell the difference between a tennis string and a racquet. Still probably having fun.

    Stage 3: You can tell the difference between brands of tennis strings. All gamma stink. Luxilon Rules. Babolats are cool. Etc.

    Stage 4: You can tell the difference between different types of strings, regardless of brand. Polyester rules, Multi stink. Natural Gut are the most expensive and cool looking, so those must be the best, right? You subscribe to Tennis Magazine. (the majority fall under this stage)

    Stage 5: You can still tell the difference between strings types, gauges, but now the unplugged "special" strings is the best in your mind. Think Hybrid and the progressive soft Polys mix types, pro supex, signum pro etc... You string mains and cross at different tensions. This is when you start posting on the TW message board string section. Tennis magazine stinks. Small changes in strings or tension result in marginally more wins or loses on court, mainly because your skills aren't very much better or worse than the people with whom you usually play. (many forum participants fall in this stage)


    Note: This is where the problem starts: Your post count in the string forum is over a 1000, though you don't admit it.

    Stage 6: You're obsessed. All things being equal, the potential difference between a string weighing 14 grams vs. one that weighs 15 grams or a string with 1.21mm vs 1.22mm in diameter keeps you up all night. What a dilemma. You can tell the difference between a frame strung at 55lb and one that is strung at 56lbs. You start spreadsheets on proportional stringing. You string your frame 260 times a year. Think Hybrid mix which no one has ever tried before. Tennis string does not cut it anymore, you start thinking squash string instead just to be different. Will my buddies on the TW boards love me more if I play with a certain mojo setup or not? You can tell what string someone four courts over has in his frame and you correlate their choice of string with how well they play. Unless they're in Stage 1, or they're a poseur. ( I know some of you who are in this stage, come on out don't be shy)

    Stage 7: Clinically sick. You start requesting and posting tension to the nearest .01 lbs You've become a string collector. Not just any unique string or Hyrbrid will do. It's got to be old and discontinued. And rare. And appreciated by others as obsessed as you are. Bonus points if a certain string is UNDER appreciated by your fellow gear heads and you reintroduce them to its virtues. Think Victor Imperial with blue ribbon or Leonia 66 or TOA. Think the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds," or Johnny Cash 5 to 10 years ago - only with strings. Everyone who disagrees with you in real life or online is an idiot. The choice of strings of these darn kids is morally offensive to you. You derive your self-worth from all the string you have used and collected, little known, vintage strings. You start looking at your neighbors cat with racing thoughts(catgut). Your friends and family begin talking about busting out the intervention again, just like they did with your wine/record/baseball card/cookware/what have you collections. (I know few who are in this stage)

    Stage 8: You've seen it all. You have tried out every string known to mankind with every gauge imaginable at every tension possible. You realize any string at any tension will do the job. You can actually play. You have fun again. You've substituted your stringing machines, digital calipers and digital tension meters with a couple of quick practice hits on your string bed and you don't care too much about what either you or your opponent or that guy four courts over is using. (I would like to think I am entering this stage.) :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
    #1
  2. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    Now down to 4 feet behind the baseline.
    I'm stage 5, I believe.
     
    #2
  3. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Other than the post count, I'm at stage 7, and have been there for a few years:
    - My main string has been discontinued and I bought up all remaining 60 packs of it 3 years ago.
    - I've used squash Natural Gut in my crosses when I used to buy it directly from Bow Brand (it was cheaper and I only needed 18ft for my crosses :) ).
    - I have convinced myself there is a difference between 16 and 16L.

    Question is...stage 8 sounds fun. Will I ever get there?
     
    #3
  4. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    i'm kind of in stage 6 although a 1mm diff in gauge doesn't concern me in the least and i don't give 2 monkey's about proportional stringing.
     
    #4
  5. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    You are at stage 7 for sure, I am at stage 7 as well though I pretend to be at stage 8 this is part of the sickness :)

    You are not telling us your discontinued string you fancy fearing we might find them and buy them up on you, I know........
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
    #5
  6. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    RR you are boarder line stage 6, you have over 750 posts in the stringing section :)
     
    #6
  7. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I'm not telling you because of Stage 3...

    Its Gamma Extreme Spin 19 (yes, as in 19g). Its a Kevlar blend that is braided. I mix it in the mains @ 56lbs w/ 17g natural gut in the crosses @ 60lbs.

    I've experimented w/ polys (which is where the "I've convinced myself I can tell the difference between 16 & 16L" came from), but I just can't get used to them. I still have ~ 25 packs remaining, which is good for 50 stringings. What I'll do once their all gone I have no idea.

    Hopefully I'll be at stage 8 by then and won't care...
     
    #7
  8. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    5.6 fore sure
     
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  9. brandx

    brandx Rookie

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    I trying to go from 5 straight to 8 as soon as possible. I've almost found my setup and just want to enjoy the game. I'm crossing my fingers.
     
    #9
  10. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

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    stage five
     
    #10
  11. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    psssst....... yeah you, I got a boat load of high flying extreme spin19g for g money, check it ouuut:)

    thanks for sharing, that is part of stage 7, I am sharing with you kevlar ashaway 18g at 40lb with Bow NG 18g cross 50, you probably have tried it.

    I am looking for Wilson extreme synthetic gut 17g gold color not the new stuff, it got to be the old discontinued extreme with the old packaging, I will give out my left arm for those.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
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  12. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    At what point do you start breaking into facilities with electron microscopes to start 'really' looking at the difference between strings ;)
     
    #12
  13. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    denial................:oops:
     
    #13
  14. Chauvalito

    Chauvalito Hall of Fame

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    MC,

    This stage system can be applied to rackets as well...and so I have to ask, are you in stage 6 concerning the PT 630?

    This question is an attempt at a somewhat serious joke. No offense intended!
     
    #14
  15. uabucks

    uabucks Rookie

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    Stage 4.2L

    Well written post!
     
    #15
  16. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I have reels of Ashaway Kevlar 17g & 18g as well. I stopped using it when I came across the Extreme Spin, but I may have to venture back.

    So, you use Bow 18g? Is that the 'Squash' stuff as well? I used to order it directly from them when the $ was worth more. It came to ~ $18 a set w/ my 20% discount.
     
    #16
  17. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    the first step is admitting that you have a problem
     
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  18. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    4.2L nice one, thank ohplease it was mainly his thread on rackets, I just doctored it up
     
    #18
  19. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    Like i told Mr. 4.2L Ohplease has the original one on frames.

    As for my PT630 it is a relapse issue, I always go back to it no matter what. It is my opiate :|
     
    #19
  20. Zhou

    Zhou Hall of Fame

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    I am a stage 5.
     
    #20
  21. racquet_jedi

    racquet_jedi Professional

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    I would say I'm somewhere between stage 2-3 on strings...

    If this was racquets, it would be another thing...
     
    #21
  22. babar

    babar Semi-Pro

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    My PD came in last night and I called the pro-shop to string it with Gamma Live Wire 17g at optimum Woofer tension (although I have no idea what that is).

    This morning, I walked in as they opened the store and ran to the stringing machine to make sure they had not strung the racquet at 58lbs as I had asked the night before, but change it to 60lbs! I can't believe I thought 58lbs would be tight enough to control the PDs power! I was a fool!!!

    So, this fool will have to play with the 58bls Live Wire since it was already strung. I thought about going to the car and pulling out the X-1 Biphase I have sitting in the front passenger seat and having them restring it, but thought I might get some odd looks from the staff who think I am nuts anyway.

    So, am I in Stage 6?
     
    #22
  23. mista-k

    mista-k Rookie

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    Im@stage 8...phew (not per se)
    ended up playing/choosing CF topspin/OG Micro (holygrail)
    and whats great about it is they are both cheap (in reels)(holy cow batman)
    now I think multis are not for moi
    Im an X-ALU user...:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
    #23
  24. smO

    smO Semi-Pro

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    Stage 4 :cool:
     
    #24
  25. Bent

    Bent Semi-Pro

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    Princess on a pea

    I'm at 3,5.

    But one of my friends is at stage 9.
     
    #25
  26. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    well it has been almost two years that i have been on stage 8:)
     
    #26
  27. Toad

    Toad Rookie

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    Amusing read...but seriously I have been wanting to try some non tennis string in my racket for a while now. Squash string is something I have looked into a lot, but none of the strings are rated for tensions as high as I would be using (55 lbs) so I would imagine they would just snap when stringing. Has anyone actually successfully tried squash/badminton string at a tension in the 50's. Ashaway ZyMax 70 looks promising...a 0.70 mm string that has been successfully strung up to 40 lbs. I might get a set to try in my crosses...wish TW sold badminton strings :/ .
     
    #27
  28. ManuGinobili

    ManuGinobili Hall of Fame

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    +1 on the cat gut!!

    Sounds like in a kungfu novel... when you've brought your skills to godlike level, even a dry twig becomes the sharpest of blades... lollzz

    I think you should add a sidenote to stage 4: symptoms of this stage is the discover of Luxilon ALU Power Rough and a refusal to try anything else.
     
    #28
  29. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    I'm around stage 5-6, with glimpses of 8. I may not have the post count (too much time spent playtesting my setups), but I do look at my string spreadsheet almost daily... Maybe not 260 restrings a year, but too many for someone playing rec leagues only. My current hybrid is something I haven't seen on these boards, and I may or may not reveal it sometime soon... heh heh. I think it's finally my "holy grail", and it's allowed me to focus back on the game as if I'm at stage 8. I haven't lost a match with it, so I can't blame them yet! I must be awesome! (or is it the strings that are?)

    That being said, I'm thoroughly satisfied with this latest hybrid and hopefully the string obsession can be put in the back of my mind, but who am I kidding? There are at least 20 different string combos on that spreadsheet of mine I haven't tried yet, and I already have the strings in my "shoebox o strings".
     
    #29
  30. schap02

    schap02 Semi-Pro

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    You could consider me stage 8 although my post count isn't there yet..

    Rule #16: Give me an up-to-date family tree. That was your mistake. You made me look like an idiot.
    Rule # 76: No excuses! Play like a champion!
     
    #30
  31. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    Stage 6 here...only exception being that I didn't know I could use squash strings. but now I know...I bet my situation is gonna soon exacerbate and I will be inevitably fall into stage 7. :)

    I enjoyed your thread, very smart ;)
     
    #31
  32. DangerDan

    DangerDan Rookie

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    I'm happy in stage 5...........really I am!?:-?

    No definitely not stage 6....

    Though if I could just get out of this....ugh... straight jacket, typing would be easier.:evil:
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
    #32
  33. Kick Serve 14

    Kick Serve 14 Professional

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    stage 5 definately... i follow all of those except that i dont think that tennis magazine stinks
     
    #33
  34. ci2ca

    ci2ca Semi-Pro

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    Stage 5 for me! I think this is one of the more clever threads on this message board. Great Idea pro tour!
     
    #34
  35. [d]ragon

    [d]ragon Hall of Fame

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    Stage 5 for me
     
    #35
  36. v205

    v205 Semi-Pro

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    Don't we all start at stage 9 when we first pick up a racket as a junior? :)

    I think I've done the 1-to-8 after picking up tennis again this year from a VERY long haitus.
     
    #36
  37. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Minus the post count, I'm assuming stage 6.

    It's gotten bad enough that I can usually pick out string by look and sound from across the court >.<

    P.S. As for trying out different things, hows for picking apart braided steel cable (yes... a racquet with steel cable-strings). Or actually using weed wacker string! (crazy spin, can't hold tension or tie knots well. o-ports a must, the gauge is too thick :neutral:)
     
    #37
  38. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

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    Dude seriously Ashaway Kevlar and Alu Rough Hybrid. Verify that your arm has not fallen off.
     
    #38
  39. mad_dr

    mad_dr New User

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    I'd say I'm stage 5. But this is brilliant :p
     
    #39
  40. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    stage five
     
    #40
  41. downdaline

    downdaline Professional

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    Stage 5.

    But when my strings break and i have to restring, i go into stage 6-7 until they're restrung.

    Seems like quite a big jump from Stage 5 to 6.
     
    #41
  42. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Jazzy,

    I absolutely love the stuff! @ 58 lbs it's perfect
     
    #42
  43. am22fcw

    am22fcw Rookie

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    definitely stage 5
     
    #43
  44. ScoopsHaaganDazs

    ScoopsHaaganDazs Rookie

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    I think I'm at stage 4 (minus the tennis subscription) but skipped stage 3. o.0
     
    #44
  45. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Great thread, great read.

    I probably went through these stages quite quickly, but have suffered all of them.

    Becoming a member of TT has certainly exacerbated the symptoms, but maybe for the better. Just like you need to have fever to cure from a disease.

    I actually have quite a bunch of strings from trades waiting for me in the closet, but I really don't feel the need to string them up until I run out of string.

    No more experiments. I have turned my back on polys, although some softer ones could work very well in certain frames I have found, but since I went through all similar stages for racquets and have also entered level 7, I am back to my vintage mids, with plain syn gut in them.

    It makes me think of the thread about sameness. I realized that you can only progress when playing with equipment you are familiar with and knowing what to expect from it.
     
    #45
  46. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    haha, good read, stage 6 for me, constantly looking arround to see what people are playing with, and also who needs a fresh string job :)
    my string setup is all over the place, diff strings, diff tensions, diff thickness
    my string never stay on the racquet longer than 3 weeks, get bored and need to try something else
    cant say i want to try squash strings. but i did think about it at one time or another.....
    ohh yeah,, their are a lot of cats near my house,,, not saying anything else,, but,, just sayinnnn.... ;-)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
    #46
  47. Mdubb23

    Mdubb23 Hall of Fame

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    Completing the point with a shoulder-high punch in
    Stage 5, on the precipice of Stage 6.
     
    #47
  48. Shellovic

    Shellovic Rookie

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    stage 5.
    Great thread!
     
    #48
  49. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    i've regressed to stage 4 and i'm quite happy. no, really.
     
    #49
  50. ClubHoUno

    ClubHoUno Banned

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    I don't string myself, and will not start unless I can get my own Babolat Star 5, because I believe you get that extra precision out of a great stringing machine.

    So other than that I'm pretty hooked, so maybe stage 6 :)
     
    #50

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