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-   -   VS Touch / Luxilon 4G 16g Review (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438960)

TimothyO 09-06-2012 12:30 PM

VS Touch / Luxilon 4G 16g Review
 
I've been a huge fan of gut/poly hybrids and have tried a variety of combinations in different frames. A significant benefit of gut/poly is its "casually accessible" spin. Just as power frame allow low-mid level players to hit with pace (often too much pace!) gut/poly makes it easier to generate RPMs. Good technique is still required but this hybrid clearly enhances, rather than inhibits, one's attempt to hit with spin.

The problem with gut/poly is that the poly can drop tension so fast and/or change in playability so much it requires frequent re-stringing while the gut remains perfectly fine. The other key problem is that many comfortable polys do too little to tame gut's power or are too stiff and uncomfortable.

Luxilon claims that 4G fixes the longevity problem with very low tension loss and long term comfort. And while comfortable like a soft poly it fixes the controllable power issue with a relatively high stiffness value.

This afternoon I hit with a VS Touch / 4G 16g hybird for about two hours. So I can not yet speak to durability or changes in playability. I'll add those observations later. But I can comment on initial playability in a Dunlop AG 4D 200 Tour (unmodified) strung at 55/52 (there are 16 mains, 18 crosses).

POWER AND CONTROL
This is THE lowest powered gut/poly hybrid I've yet used. It's far less than VS/PHT. It is also THE most controllable gut/poly hybrid I've tried. It made my 95" Tour feel as precise as my old AG 4D 100.

COMFORT
After 2 hours no problems. The only issue, at least in this frame which is a pretty open 16x 18, is that off center hits towards 12 were a little jarring at first. Nothing terrible, just more noticible than VS/PHT or any other poly cross I've tried. On paper 4G is very stiff and I have a sensitive arm. It will beinteresting to see how this ages.

SPIN
I agree with others who have noticed the slightly lower spin potential compared to some other polys. For example, PHT crosses seemed better in this area. However, because 4G is so low powered, one can generate huge RPMs more safely than with softer strings. In other words, since RHS is critical to RPMs, softer strings can sometimes cause control issues when ripping a ball. With 4G I felt fearless confidence in unleashing a huge topspin forehand. The net effect was greater, safer, more controllable RPMs than with softer strings. This made shots like very annoying moonballs a breeze! :)

HOLY GRAIL
I've worked in high tech product management and it's tough. Investing in prototypes can be expensive and very risky. The key to success is a deep understanding of market and product requirements and the discipline to meet those requirements rather than cut corners.

Playing with 4G crosses today I felt like Luxilon must have been reading these boards and collecting our thoughts on gut / poly hybrids. The product is stiff enough for amazing control and yet comfortable too. It also provides access to massive spin potential like other polys in a gut/poly hybrid.

For me the real test was putting it in an open pattern frame and still achieving so much control. It's the first time that I felt this level of control in an open pattern larger than 90". I'm very curious how it might perform in an even larger head with 16 mains. If comfort and longevity pan out I may let my son try it in his Prince Exo3 Team 100.

For now, compared to the many polys I've tried, this will be my go to cross for VS mains.

EDIT: forgot to mention one of my favorite shots with this setup...taking serves and groundies on the rise. I never felt so confident doing so. Stepping into the shot I felt like I could direct the ball with great precison and confidence.

Fuji 09-06-2012 02:31 PM

I'm looking forward to trying this set up as well. Thanks a lot for the review!

When you update your play time on it, please let us know how the 4G "dies" as normally it becomes completely unplayable.

-Fuji

filphil 09-06-2012 02:56 PM

Tim - thanks for the initial review. Keep us up to date. Would it be cool if you list the poly strings you've used as crosses for gut in the past for comparison sake?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuji (Post 6872480)
I'm looking forward to trying this set up as well. Thanks a lot for the review!

When you update your play time on it, please let us know how the 4G "dies" as normally it becomes completely unplayable.

-Fuji

When you say normal, are you talking about polyester normal or lux normal?

Fuji 09-06-2012 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by filphil (Post 6872609)
Tim - thanks for the initial review. Keep us up to date. Would it be cool if you list the poly strings you've used as crosses for gut in the past for comparison sake?



When you say normal, are you talking about polyester normal or lux normal?

Lux normal! Sorry I didn't mention that. :)

-Fuji

TimothyO 09-06-2012 03:21 PM

Other polys and multis I've tried with gut mains:

- RPM Blast
- RPM Team
- Hurricane Feel
- Pro Hurricane Tour
- MSV CoFocus
- MSV Focus Hex
- WC Silver String
- Luxilon (various)
- Xcel Premium
- TNT2 (various)
- L Tec (various)
- others I've forgotten due to poor performance!

Of these my favorites in the past have been MSV CoFocus and Focus Hex depending upon the frame and Pro Hurricane Tour.

Playability-wise 4G 16g is my new favorite. Will update as to comfort and durability over the long haul. Hitting again later tonight (will have to put US Open on pause while I hit). :)

TimothyO 09-06-2012 07:35 PM

A couple of more hours tonight...total close to four.

- a little more power as the stringbed softens but nothing like the usual increase as poly tension drops prior to its board-like death...Still oustanding control and more precision than any other poly cross I've tried

- complete comfort and the stiffness towards 12 is gone

- dramatic increase in spin too, no idea why. I've never had it this easy keeping shots in while also stepping on the gas hard. Either the softening of the stringbed is doing something or the confidence 4G inspires is allowing me to rip topspin shots harder.

If the stringbed settles in anywhere close to what I hit tonight then I imagine labs across the industry will be reverse engineering 4G to develop a comparable product. In a hybrid with VS I've never hit any other string setup with this level precision and spin. As long as this thing doesn't become a rocket launcher or completely dead I'm 100% sold.

I know there's been a lot of talk about pro contracts and such but based on what I've seen in just about four hours I can see why someone like S Williams would adapt 4G in a hybrid. Complete no brainer imo. For we mere mortals with much smaller bank accounts the big question is longevity...which is still TBD.

wrxinsc 09-07-2012 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 6873640)
A couple of more hours tonight...total close to four.

- a little more power as the stringbed softens but nothing like the usual increase as poly tension drops prior to its board-like death...Still oustanding control and more precision than any other poly cross I've tried

- complete comfort and the stiffness towards 12 is gone

- dramatic increase in spin too, no idea why. I've never had it this easy keeping shots in while also stepping on the gas hard. Either the softening of the stringbed is doing something or the confidence 4G inspires is allowing me to rip topspin shots harder.

If the stringbed settles in anywhere close to what I hit tonight then I imagine labs across the industry will be reverse engineering 4G to develop a comparable product. In a hybrid with VS I've never hit any other string setup with this level precision and spin. As long as this thing doesn't become a rocket launcher or completely dead I'm 100% sold.

I know there's been a lot of talk about pro contracts and such but based on what I've seen in just about four hours I can see why someone like S Williams would adapt 4G in a hybrid. Complete no brainer imo. For we mere mortals with much smaller bank accounts the big question is longevity...which is still TBD.

I'm at about 10-12 hours now with my 4g16L/N.vy16 hybrid - also in a 16x18 racquet - Volkl X8 300g. I also noticed the initial slight change (settlement) with the string after about 2 hours of use and playability has since held constant. I am not yet ready to cut these out so they have held up better than my usual suspect poly's.

I had been playing with Wilson natty gut mains and poly string crosses; but I play in the deep south and almost entirely on 'clay' so the gut wasn't lasting for me. I really dig the N.vy16 as a cross for the poly.

The only thing I would add is that this 4g string adds a level of touch/feel/response that I haven't been able to find with other thicker gauge poly strings. For this racquet I don't like thin gauge strings in terms of control even at low tensions. The X8 is a spin monster, and I hit with a heavy spin from both wings naturally, so I prefer a thick gauge string - now I may have found one to stick with for awhile given the added level of touch and feel.

TimothyO 09-07-2012 04:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrxinsc (Post 6874266)
I'm at about 10-12 hours now with my 4g16L/N.vy16 hybrid - also in a 16x18 racquet - Volkl X8 300g. I also noticed the initial slight change (settlement) with the string after about 2 hours of use and playability has since held constant. I am not yet ready to cut these out so they have held up better than my usual suspect poly's.

I had been playing with Wilson natty gut mains and poly string crosses; but I play in the deep south and almost entirely on 'clay' so the gut wasn't lasting for me. I really dig the N.vy16 as a cross for the poly.

The only thing I would add is that this 4g string adds a level of touch/feel/response that I haven't been able to find with other thicker gauge poly strings. For this racquet I don't like thin gauge strings in terms of control even at low tensions. The X8 is a spin monster, and I hit with a heavy spin from both wings naturally, so I prefer a thick gauge string - now I may have found one to stick with for awhile given the added level of touch and feel.

Drakulie also reported that after a couple of hours of play the string bed seemed to settle in.

I fully agree about the touch/feel aspect of 4G. It might approach the borders of hyperbole but VS/4G feels very close to a full bed of very soft multi or natural gut. It certainly didn't feel that way at first but with a little bit of play it became very, very comfortable and soft without becoming a trampoline. They did some serious materials science research to come up with this. I've never been a fan of Luxilon and this is the first Lux string that I really enjoy.

arche3 09-07-2012 04:41 AM

Getting real interested in this thread....

TimothyO 09-08-2012 09:53 AM

Hit casually for an hour yesterday and again today.

Still very low powered, will likely age/die towards the boardy end of the poly spectrum rather than the springy end.

Still comfortable but less so than Thursday or Friday. Spin fine too. PHT still holds the edge in spin and comfort. Good test will be on Monday night during men's team practice.

フェデラー 09-08-2012 10:49 AM

Tim thank you so much for your review!! Have you used VS with ALU rough? That has always treated me well and been the holy grail for me. Will hopefully try out VS/4G on my BLX soon.

maxpotapov 09-08-2012 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 6878119)
Hit casually for an hour yesterday and again today.

Still very low powered, will likely age/die towards the boardy end of the poly spectrum rather than the springy end.

Still comfortable but less so than Thursday or Friday. Spin fine too. PHT still holds the edge in spin and comfort. Good test will be on Monday night during men's team practice.

You lost me at the word "boardy".
And then again at "PHT still holds the edge in spin and comfort".

At $16, 4G makes little sense now

TimothyO 09-08-2012 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maxpotapov (Post 6878789)
You lost me at the word "boardy".
And then again at "PHT still holds the edge in spin and comfort".

At $16, 4G makes little sense now

There's the key issue for gut/poly users.

If 4G's low tension loss is for real AND the string remains playable for an extended period as a cross with gut mains then $16 is a very good deal compared to many other polys (including cheaper ones) that drop lots of tension and die becoming an unplayable mess.

It's a bit like full gut. Today full gut is a great value since it remains playable until it breaks. If you're not a huge string breaker (ie most low to mid level players) then it's a far better value than cheaper multis which require more frequent re-stringings.

The 4G crosses are still far more comfy than other polys I've tried. They have a muted, poofy feel on impact. So they lack the relative pop of PHT crosses and are a far cry from something like CoFocus in power. It's just that they seem so perfect I'm trying to be extra careful in not getting carried away with them. So I may sound extra critical at times. In my heart I was giddy with delight at how hard I could swing and still keep the ball in with spinny precision.

TimothyO 09-08-2012 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by フェデラー (Post 6878471)
Tim thank you so much for your review!! Have you used VS with ALU rough? That has always treated me well and been the holy grail for me. Will hopefully try out VS/4G on my BLX soon.

Yes, tried Alu Rough, and this feel better. When I tried Alu Rough (and other Luxlions) I could never get my head around the Luxilon "mystique". My impression was, "What's the big deal?". With 4G I can see these being a very big deal. I wasn't a Luxilon hater, just a Luxilon heretic/doubter. Not ready to be a believer yet, but I'm listening to the sermon now. :)

maxpotapov 09-08-2012 08:22 PM

Alright alright, I will order a set :)
I played with Luxilon full bed or hybrids, I can see why pros are using it but they can afford frequent restringing and I can not. That's why I'm intrigued by "next gen resilience" claims. My dream setup would be 15+ hours of spin and comfort for $30 or less, so I really hope this 4G Luxilon will not go dead in 5 hours like they usually do

TimothyO 09-09-2012 04:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maxpotapov (Post 6880628)
Alright alright, I will order a set :)
I played with Luxilon full bed or hybrids, I can see why pros are using it but they can afford frequent restringing and I can not. That's why I'm intrigued by "next gen resilience" claims. My dream setup would be 15+ hours of spin and comfort for $30 or less, so I really hope this 4G Luxilon will not go dead in 5 hours like they usually do

I have that same hope. Others haver reported positive results wrt longevity. Hopefully it will work the same way for us too. There will probably be differences in longevity bewteen hybrids and full bed as well.

Nostradamus 09-09-2012 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 6872663)
Other polys and multis I've tried with gut mains:

- RPM Blast
- RPM Team
- Hurricane Feel
- Pro Hurricane Tour
- MSV CoFocus
- MSV Focus Hex
- WC Silver String
- Luxilon (various)
- Xcel Premium
- TNT2 (various)
- L Tec (various)
- others I've forgotten due to poor performance!

Of these my favorites in the past have been MSV CoFocus and Focus Hex depending upon the frame and Pro Hurricane Tour.

Playability-wise 4G 16g is my new favorite. Will update as to comfort and durability over the long haul. Hitting again later tonight (will have to put US Open on pause while I hit). :)

Do you think 4G is very similar to RPM team string. i thought that string was very very low powered with decent control.

and that Nat Gut gets very expensive cause i break alot of strings so what Multi strings do you prefer in its place ?

フェデラー 09-09-2012 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 6879398)
Yes, tried Alu Rough, and this feel better. When I tried Alu Rough (and other Luxlions) I could never get my head around the Luxilon "mystique". My impression was, "What's the big deal?". With 4G I can see these being a very big deal. I wasn't a Luxilon hater, just a Luxilon heretic/doubter. Not ready to be a believer yet, but I'm listening to the sermon now. :)

Hmm good to hear. I'm very weird with strings/ Even though I use gut poly, and no matter how much pace and spin I put on the ball, I just DON'T break strings. It might be because I string in the mid-high 40's, but it takes me forever to break strings. The last time my strings broke it was the poly that went first. I haven't used a lot of polys in hybrids, so I'm not always good at perceiving tension loss, so I hope to make a comparison between the two as well. Really can't wait to try this out.

TimothyO 09-09-2012 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nostradamus (Post 6881125)
Do you think 4G is very similar to RPM team string. i thought that string was very very low powered with decent control.

and that Nat Gut gets very expensive cause i break alot of strings so what Multi strings do you prefer in its place ?

4G is definitely lower powered than RPM, at least when comparing the same gauges.

I hit with my boys this morning and found myself having to use the frame strung with VS/PHT rather than the VS/4G frame. Tapping balls gently so my 12-year old could work on his backhand form was tiresome with the VS/4G since it's so low powered. VS/PHT provided a little more welcome pop when feeding balls for practice.

Nostradamus 09-09-2012 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 6881864)
4G is definitely lower powered than RPM, at least when comparing the same gauges.

I hit with my boys this morning and found myself having to use the frame strung with VS/PHT rather than the VS/4G frame. Tapping balls gently so my 12-year old could work on his backhand form was tiresome with the VS/4G since it's so low powered. VS/PHT provided a little more welcome pop when feeding balls for practice.

VS/PHT is supercharged power for sure. Babolat has Xcel and Xcel power which is supposed to play like gut. what do you think about those ?


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