Originally Posted by diredesire
As a stringer, my question is: who cares? I absolutely understand where you're coming from, and to the average player, they ARE playing with "60 lbs" (or whatever). It's a stiffness, and it's exactly the same (in their minds). Equipment junky or not, the idea is the same. While we may know that they in fact have a string bed roughly equivalent to 40 some lbs, even WE don't know for sure.
Even if we have reasonable measuring devices, they only give us dynamic "tension," and/or stiffness measurements. Even the string meter is only a reference device (used to track tension loss, etc).
At the end of the day, i assert that nobody knows exactly what tension their racquet is, nor should they lose any sleep over it. If someone requests 60 lbs, and they feel like the strings are "too powerful," i will educate them about what can cause this, and what it means to string at "60 lbs," but I find that most players don't really even care to understand that much! I will often give a brief "pep talk" to a new customer about who strung their racquets before, and that it's common to have a string job feel a little different (for different reasons, including technique, machine type, etc). I find that tennis is an extremely mental game, and taking a little bit of the doubt out of switching to someone new does wonders for repeat customers. If it doesn't feel right, I ask customers to let me know HOW it doesn't feel right, make adjustments accordingly, and without their knowing it, I just helped them understand better what a reference tension really is.
Yes, spot on diredesire. I always check my stringjobs with an ERT 300 immediately after stringing and the DT converted to the tension is generally consideably lower than I supposedly strung the frame at. Doesn't matter at all - for example I like what my Klippermate tells me is 60 lbs and the racquet at that 60 feels exactly how I like it. It is most definitely not 60 (probably more like 54) but I believe it to be 60 and so long as I can keep reproducing that 60 on the machine I'm happy.
So when I string for players (mostly friends) and they tell me they want 60, I always check with them a couple of weeks later as to does it feel right, or would they like a little more or less tension next time. I then make that adjustment next time. I and I guess most of us just use a tension number as a reference point to make future adjustments from. It is all about reproducing that stringbed tension time after time. Once you get that consistency, it is the feedback that allows you to make the necessary adjustments to give the player the "tension" he or she wants.