Which string for Wilson Steam 99S and 105S?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Tennisspieler, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Tennisspieler

    Tennisspieler Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    124
    Given the very open 16/15 string pattern of both the Wilson Steam 99S and 105S, which string would you choose for these spin-friendly racquets?

    Wilson recommends the Luxilon 4G for maximum spin and the 4G S for durability.

    However, these Luxilon strings are not the most inexpensive ones, which may be an issue considering the expected short lifespan of any string in the new Wilson Steam S-line.

    So what are your ideas for the Wilsons? It may be tempting to use a lively, spin-friendly string to furher increase the already huge spin potential of the racquets. In contrast, to prevent breaking strings to early it is probably wise to choose a more solid string with a thicker gauge.

    My first idea is to try a string like the MSV Focus Hex 1.27. That one gives you a lot of extra spin (see the comparison tool on tw), yet the relative thickness may lift durability to a sizeable level in the new Wilsons. Also, the MSV is affordable, which may be big plus.

    So, what are your thoughts? Any proposals?
     
    #1
  2. John Kawasaki

    John Kawasaki Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Here are the set ups I have tried so far:

    Volkl Synthetic 15L @ 56 lbs (constant pull): this is what attracted me to the stick.

    Lux 4G @56 lbs (constant pull): a littlle more spin but the string bed lost some "crispness" (believe it or not) and I felt I lost some court penetration.

    Head PPS (synthetic) @ 60 lbs (contstant pull) got better feel/crispness back and still very spin friendly.

    After these 3 string jobs I will probably go with what felt best to me (the Volkl 15L syn) at a higer tension...probably 60 lbs (constant pull).

    So far, I have felt this stick to be pretty incredible: yes, definitely CAPABLE of more spin than anything I've hit with and hitting flat is not a problem for me. What is amazing is that when the string tension is high the string bed feels very comfortable; a lot to be said for the open pattern contributing to this (even with full poly)
     
    #2
  3. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,200
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    John,

    This is interesting. You are playing with full syn gut in a thick gauge. How is the string movement and durability?
     
    #3
  4. John Kawasaki

    John Kawasaki Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    PP,

    The string movement and durability are not that good (!) But it plays very well and offers better touch (esp vollys). The only reason I'm doing this is because the syn gut is cheap and the feeling (with slight loss of spin) is enhanced. Full poly would probably work very well once I find the set up and tension I like. I've only tried the 4G a few times and seem to like it better in a hybrid; I may still try that using it as a cross. The thicker guages really do seem to work well in this frame along with the recommended higher tension. At first I was worried about the combination of high tension and a relatively firm stick but I have since been pleasantly surprised (shocked !) by how soft this wide open pattern is. Other observations I can confirm are that the court really does "feel larger" to me......this is a great psychological boost for my confidence: this stick is NOT a launcher. We'll see how I feel a month down the road as I am a consumate RH !
     
    #4
  5. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    I confirm this 100% based on my demo time with the 99s and 105s.
     
    #5
  6. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    I would go with 4G at mid tension to start with. These racquets are made for copoly strings. You absolutely will not get the main string sliding and snapback that these frames were designed for with syngut or multi strings. Maybe it will work for 15 minutes, but after that the mains will start to notch and get stuck out of place, which is a sure indication that they are no longer snapping back and producing more spin. All you will have at that point is a very imprecise, string-eating racquet, that launches balls at a very high angle but with no extra spin.

    Aside from 4G, any stiff, slippery copoly in a thick gauge should work. Tourbite 16 has very similar lab numbers to 4G but has greater ball/string friction. It is also square so should resist notching and hold up better in a 16x15 than 4G. Another option would be Tourbite 16 mains and Gosen Polymaster I crosses. Polymaster has a very thin, rectangular cross section. Paired with the square Tourbite you should get superb snapback with little or no notching. Square/flat strings might be the ticket to get decent string life out of these patterns.

    Another option would be Kevlar mains/Tourbite 16L crosses at the bottom of the recommended tension range. This won't break until well after the Tourbite has bagged out, unless you're an absolutely massive hitter.
     
    #6
  7. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,200
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    If I get a 99s, im not spending a lot on poly. No point since you are going to get spin regardless right? Ill pick between cyberflash, Black Magic and Polybreak. Reels can all be had for a great value.

    Cyberflash could be devastating in this frame.
     
    #7
  8. John Kawasaki

    John Kawasaki Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Yes, poly will be the optimal for spin capability, not denying that. I'm just saying even with a cheap syn gut this stick is extremely spin friendly (even with minimal main "snap back")....I can't explain why, just my observation. I hope I will find a good poly combo that suits the feel I enjoy. What I got with the syn gut is more court penatration with more spin than I'm use too w/other sticks.
     
    #8
  9. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    Well, I don't know. But one explanation may be that, with syngut in such an open pattern you are going to get a very high rebound angle. That high rebound angle will mean a high, arching trajectory that will result in quite a high bounce. But a high bounce doesn't mean it has lots of spin on it. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Contrary to popular belief, topspin doesn't actually increase ball bounce height. It decreases it. What topspin does do is reduce the amount of speed lost at the bounce. High-arching balls, wether they have topspin on them or not, are going to bounce high. But a high-arching ball with lots of topspin is going to bounce faster, but a little lower, than a high-arching ball without topspin. This is an example of how our perceptions about spin are imprecise, at best.

    The very best thing about Wilson's Spin Effect agenda, in my opinion, is their on-court testing using a radar tracking system, which confirmed for players who have experienced it that the 99S strung with 4G really did put more spin on the ball. Without such a tracking system, we're all right back to where we were before: we can estimate ball speed, observe trajectory, observe bounce, get feedback from our opponent/hitting partner, etc. But we do not know if our shots actually are faster or have more spin on them. We can't know for certain because our brains are not equipped to accurately measure such things. Using our subjective perceptions, we can conclude yeah or nay, but we really don't know for certain. If Wilson hadn't rolled out this on-court tracking system with the introduction of these 16x15 patterns, we'd all be debating whether or not they really work. But since they did, and we have objective data, we know they work. So now we're talking about what strings will allow them to work like they've been demonstrated to do.

    This is why I would start with a poly similar to 4G. We know that it does increase spin with this stick. Once you've experienced what the 99S or 105S can do with 4G you'll at least have reference point from which to compare observations with other string setups.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
    #9
  10. John Kawasaki

    John Kawasaki Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    corners, good advise/explanation. Really looking forward to everyone's take on this srtick, strings, etc........
     
    #10
  11. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    Thanks John. Good luck with that stick!
     
    #11
  12. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    140
    I will be picking up a 99s as soon as they are available. Do you guys think a gut/poly hybrid will last in this frame? Like maybe 15g Tonic and a 16g poly cross? I currently get about 10-12 hours out of my 16g Bab VS/17g Hurricane Feel now.
     
    #12
  13. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,200
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    What racquet do you use now? I was breaking gut mains in no time in a yonex 200rdis. Was too expensive for me.
     
    #13
  14. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Holland - Belgium
    Another gem by corners, kudos kid!
     
    #14
  15. tennis_nut

    tennis_nut Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    140
    Using the 18x20 exo3 tour now but can't wait to get my hands on the new 99S :)
     
    #15
  16. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,200
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    If you barely get 10 hours out of an 18x20, I assure you that gut mains is going to be very costly in the 99s.

    I hit with the 105s tonight and I still much prefer my 18x20 Blade. But it's not a fair comparison, the 105s really is a very light racquet probably geared more towards beginners.
     
    #16
  17. Tennisspieler

    Tennisspieler Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    124
    Interesting thoughts so far.

    Any ideas for an alternative to the Luxilon 4G S recommended by Wilson for the Steam S-Line?

    Until now, string producers didn’t have to worry too much about a wide range of 15 gauge strings as there were few racquets out there being really suitable for that gauge anyway. With the new Wilson Steam 99S and 105S that may change. I guess we can expect a whole lot of new 15 gauge strings as the introduction of the new 16/15 string pattern will increase demand for thick durable strings. I am already curious what happens if other racquet brands launch there own 16/15 (or similar) string pattern models.

    Obviously, the cooperation between Luxilon and Wilson enabled Luxilon to come up with a brand new durable 15 gauge string along with the introduction of the Steam 99S and 105S in January 2013.
     
    #17
  18. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    I played with the 105s demo and 99s demo both with a hybrid of 4g and NXT at mid tension for each frame. After 200 balls on a machine and 1 set of real play the string movement was ungodly annoying. The mains were not snapping back fully into play. Fortunately the crosses did not move too much, but every contact the mains moved and did not get back to original position. That occurred far too quickly for me to ever consider a hybrid. From what Corners and other people on here have mentioned it is due to the fact that the multi is not really allowing the poly to do its job and is not suitable enough to get the poly snapped back into position.
     
    #18
  19. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,611
    This is why I'm not rushing out to buy yet. Let's see if other racket companies come out with their own versions and if string companies come out with their own 15g poly strings. A Lux 4G reel is $245!
     
    #19
  20. Tennisspieler

    Tennisspieler Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    124
    Maybe a string like the Signum Pro Poly Megaforce is worth a try on the new Wilson Steam 99S and 105S.

    It is a firm and durable string, yet comes at a lower price level than the Luxilons, thus being affordable even if you are a hard hitter and frequent string breaker. Most notably, it is build to resist string movement and that may help on Wilson’s new 16/15 string pattern. The 1.24/1.29 mm version of the Signum Pro Poly Megaforce could be an alternative for the Luxilon 4G, the 1.34 mm version may compete with the Luxilon 4G S. Just a thought.
     
    #20
  21. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,200
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Guys, you can use 16 gauge and be fine with the 16x15 pattern.
     
    #21
  22. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14,119
    Location:
    Roswell GA
    I don't think the pattern looks much more open than oversize 16x19 racquets. I plan on trying 4g mains with Nvy crosses.
     
    #22
  23. carlosoki

    carlosoki Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    106
    I Will try MSV Heptatwist.
     
    #23
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14,119
    Location:
    Roswell GA
    Anyone else with ideas on what might work well in the 99s?

    My demo had Black Widow mains with NXT crosses, which you wouldn't think ideal, but it played very well. I am thinking of trying Solinco Outlast with Nvy crosses at 55/57.
     
    #24
  25. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,519


    This is what I found when I used a vortex spin racket a few years back, poly was not necessary. I could get monster spin with a cheap syn. I would also use 15L syn and could get more spin than I ever got out of poly with regular rackets.

    I would use cheap leona 66 15L main with any thick cheap poly I had laying around as a x's. The problem I was having was controlling the power so the thick dead leona with a thick poly x's worked well.

    But regardless of what I used I could get incredible spin with a open pattern racket like this. Also these rackets are definitely string eaters so don't waste a lot on expensive strings, because they are going to break or wear out quickly anyway.

    I think most will find that if you go for a thin lively poly you will definitely get a lot of spin, but you will also be hitting way long way to often. There is a reason they have a low powered poly in their demo's.
     
    #25
  26. Darkness

    Darkness New User

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Wilson Steam - Sting Eater

    I have had the 105S since Feburary 2013 (basically 2 months) and have been using Solinco Tourbite 16 L. I use a Semi-Western grip and hit with lots of spin. I can barely get two matches out of the Tourbite with this racquet. I am stringing at 60lbs as it is in the recommended range but can't get these strings to last very long in the Steam. I love the Tourbite but need to find another string as well. Anybody try the Yonex Poly Tour Spin 1.25 16L Blue String ? It is getting good reviews on various websites and is ranked very high for durability. Also Luxilon just released the 4G 15 gauge string at 1.41 might prevent strings from breaking?

    I did try the Luxilon 4G and agree that it is very expensive. Also noticed that I was hitting balls way long with this string and provided too much pop compared to the Solinco Tourbite. If you buy the Steam, you probably will also need a racquet stringing machine and string your own racquets as this investment will pay off over time.
     
    #26
  27. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Just got 8 packs of Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange for my 105s for $4/pack (it is on sale at TW). I really like them. They feel pretty comfy (not as soft as Sidewinder, but much softer than 4G) and spin is just fine. I don't think it is going to last any longer than ALU or Gosen Sidewinder that I have used (it is starting to move around after about 2 hours), but at $4 a pop, I can't really complain. I may load up some more before they run out.

    The orange color also looks pretty great on this racquet.

    Here is how I would rate all the string combos I have tried so far:

    1. Gut main/ALU cross
    2. ALU
    3. Gosen Sidewinder
    4. Kirschbaum Orange Super Smash
    5. MSV Focus-Evo
    6. 4G
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
    #27
  28. mrj1813

    mrj1813 New User

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    I have tried yonex polypro, pacific xcite, lux 4g, and gosen sidewinder and my fav out of those is the gosen sidewinder. very comfy, holds tension great, lots of spin, and a little cheaper than 4g. (which is the next best one) and it looks great, very slippery string and has excellent snap back. Hated the xcite and the yoney moves too much after not much play. I tried the gosen after someone on TW recommended it (might have been you gameboy) and couldn't be happier.

    sam

    i use the 99s
     
    #28
  29. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I've tested a lot of poly and found the Xcite the best. Dropped tension last week to 52lbs and love it.
     
    #29
  30. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    390
    This is my set up of choice. I string at 56lbs.

    MSV has a great blend of spin comfort and power IMO and is extremely affordable.

    Tension maintenance again it has been the best out of all the strings I've tried so far.

    Durability is also good compared to others but in general string life in this racket is poor.

    DD
     
    #30
  31. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    I like the gut main/alu cross hybid as well on my leaded up 99S.
     
    #31
  32. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,232
    Only a brief hit with it thus far but slightly surprised by 4GS seeing as how I wasn't so bowled over by reg 4G. Lots of smooth power, nice control and spin, and I actually thought 4GS felt a tad softer than the 4G I tried a few months ago.
     
    #32
  33. Darkness

    Darkness New User

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Cool. Thanks for letting us know. Got some on order myself. Let us know about tension loss and durability with this new 15 gauge string. My 105s is breaking my wallet and hopefully the 4Gs will not break so easily.:-?
     
    #33
  34. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    I had MSV Focus Hex SOFT in there and enjoyed it, but I am liking Wilson Spin Cycle just a little better. It should be noted that the Wilson website recommends Spin Cycle, even though the frame shows 4g.
     
    #34
  35. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,232
    Could yourself or others say more re Spin Cycle and it's general performance.
     
    #35
  36. Doctor of Tennis

    Doctor of Tennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    anyone try full bed of natural gut on 99s or 105S? How's the durability?

    I'm thinking of trying some cheap Indian gut on the 105S
     
    #36
  37. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    565
    Location:
    Galt's Gulch
    I can only get 5 or 6 matches out of kevlar. I can't imagine you will get an entire match out of natural gut. If you try, please let us know.
     
    #37
  38. Pheniox

    Pheniox New User

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Demo'd with 4G but it was pretty dead and I wasn't going to try that high.

    After snapping BHBR 18 and 2 sets of Mosquito / SPPP I decided to go to 16 gauge.

    I like the current setup but I have some Co-Focus I can't wait to try as a slicker cross with my Spiky Shark Black. My mains are already sliding around like crazy on the Cyclone, can't wait to see what happens when the cross isn't twisted.
     
    #38
  39. BodegaBay

    BodegaBay Rookie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    USA
    Has anyone tried the 99s with a full bed of Volkl Cyclone 16?

    Edit: never mind, I read some posts that textured polys might not be the best choice for this racquet. Sounds like a rounded smooth poly is the ideal choice due to the rebound characteristics of the stick.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
    #39
  40. Doctor of Tennis

    Doctor of Tennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    99S with full bed of natural gut

    Ok, I am able to answer my own question. I bought a used 99S from TW and it came with a full bed of VS Touch 16! It was strung at 64#s. This setup was probably the softest feeling strings I have ever felt. It was like hitting with a pillow! Perhaps too soft actually. Unfortunately, the spin isn't great. With the VS Touch, the 99S just feels like a regular racquet to me in terms of spin production, whereas when I had demoed it earlier with other strings, the spin was noticeably more. As wasteful as it sounds, but I might have to cut out the VS touch and replace it with synthetic gut because full natural gut is preventing me from playing with the 99S the way it was meant to be played.

    As for durability, it has lasted me around 4-5 hrs with a lot of noticeable fraying. Will probably break in 1-2 hrs more of play.
     
    #40
  41. Trojan1994

    Trojan1994 New User

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    63
    On my Steam 105s I am currently using Wilson Rip Spin(17) @ 30lbs.

    And it's excellent! Can't wait for the string to be available at retail outlets as I got my sample from a friendly Wilson Sales rep.The Rip Spin has about 10hours of play on it with me and others trying out my racquet

    So far no signs of notching and playability seems unchanged.

    My other 2 99s Racquets have:

    4G(16) @ 45lbs.

    4GS(15) @ 54lbs.

    I much prefer the Rip Spin!!!

    Regards,

    Tony
     
    #41
  42. 808guy

    808guy New User

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Kevlar 16 mains and black widow 17 crosses on 105s

    After breaking mains black widow 17g strings twice after 6 to 7 hours of play strung at 45lbs, i had had my steam 105s strung with Kevlar 16g mains at 38lbs and 17g Black widow crosses at 45lbs. So far it seems to be working and i'm up to 10 hours and holding. I'm loving the spin I'm getting and I'm hoping this combo will last for at least 20 hours.
    i'm a lefty baseliner, way better than a 4.0 but not quite yet a full 4.5 player using a Western grip.
     
    #42
  43. Bhairava

    Bhairava Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Messages:
    315
    I've never tried steam 99s, but I can advice on trying tour bite 16. It's 1.34mm real thickness, so very thick for a poly not designed for very open patterns. But when strung on low tension(44lbs on a low powered 100sq stick, 50lbs on a apd-like stick) it is confortable, it is low powered and it last A LOT.
    I tried it on a ozone tour mp 100inc sq 16x18, so a open pattern even if not so open like steam 99s, and the string lasted A LOT, both for physical durability and for tension maintenance. I think will be a very good string for steam 99s. I've used TB 17 and 16L too, but 16 is much more thick than 16L. I prefer 16L on normal midplus racquets, but on steam 99s TB 16 will be perfect.
    Let someone try it!
     
    #43
  44. Lack

    Lack Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    212
    Wilson Ripspin 15g for max spin and durability
     
    #44
  45. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    Care to elaborate at all?
     
    #45
  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,606
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Upon recommendation of a few of my cohorts, I'm trying Prince Syn Gut/Poly. It plays really well so far.
     
    #46
  47. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    Down East
    Poly or SG main?
     
    #47
  48. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,606
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Poly mains with SG crosses at 58
     
    #48
  49. Lack

    Lack Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    212
    What more do you want me to say. I've used it and it's good?
     
    #49
  50. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC area
    How about what other strings you have tried? What racquet do you have, the 99s or 105? Maybe some explanation of why you thought it was good? Was there a break in time? How long did you use it before deciding it was "good"? What was your tension?

    Any of these might actually help some of us.
     
    #50

Share This Page