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Old 12-20-2010, 08:24 AM   #9
StringingPro
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvaudio View Post
Before I delve into the categories, a little background on this natty since many of you may not be familiar with it. This is the bumf from the e.Bay seller's page, so I didn't write this:



This is the description for the Whisper Touch string. I also have their string in 1.25 gauge, but have not used it.

The natural guts that I carry for stringing are the following:
Babolat Tonic 15L
Babolat VS Team 17g
Global Gut 17g
Klip Legend 17g
Pacific Prime 17g

I have used VS, Klip and Global in the mains, and those three plus tonic in the crosses (all as hybrids). In the mains, VS is the best by a long shot. In the crosses, VS is the best simply because it does not fray as badly, but the feel is better than Global and Tonic which are tied.

Since I cannot link to the Bay page, I'll describe the string's appearance. They say that they use a polyurethane coating like on furniture which gives it a glossy appearance and helps with stringing. Now, as is evident from my username, I have a strong basis in audio and thus in loudspeaker building and have used polyurethane to finish speaker cabinets many a time. Therefore, I know its properties: dries hard, dries clear and yet is flammable. The string that you receive is so clear, and I mean so transparent, that I did not believe for one second that it was natural gut. It looked like a natural colored version of Pro Supex syn gut original: it was that transparent. So, I figured that if they're telling the truth, that I could literally light the string on fire, which should make the polyurethane coating go up in flames quickly and reveal the gut below which should expand immediately. So.....that's what I did! I cut a 1" section off of the string, took a Bic to it, and immediately the entire thing burst into flames and quadrupled in size. There was a definite smell of polyurethane/lacquer and of burning flesh: this stuff truly is natural gut despite the crystal clear appearance.

Onto the actual playtest:

Stringing: Scorpion, like all WC strings, is a breeze to string. No coil memory, easy to tie off, easy on the fingers. Since it was just in the mains, no problems whatsoever. Now comes the interesting part: the crosses. The gut, when woven, is about as hard to weave as a low coil memory poly. Therefore, I'd put its ease of stringing in between a stiff multi and a soft poly, but definitely easier to weave than any of the other Babolat or Klip guts let alone the rope, I mean, Global gut. What's interesting is that the string looks crystal clear while weaving, but the moment you pull tension on it, it literally transforms before your eyes into a cloudy string where you can see the individual sinews and takes on an appearance identical to VS. You really need to see this to understand it: it looks crystal clear, to the point that I stepped on it multiple times because i saw right through it while it was on the carpet while I was doing the mains, but when tensioned, the fibrous nature is immediately apparent. Tension: 56.5 / 58.5

Playability: This is, without question, the best playing string setup that I have ever used in my entire life. Nothing else even compares. Honestly, not even VS crosses compare. I am not putting it to either string, but rather the combination of a crispy yet soft poly main and a natural gut cross. It just so happens that both strings happen to be the best of their respective breeds. The power is EFFORTLESS. Wrist flick shots are dime a dozen. You can modulate the amount of power simply by how much force you put behind each shot, OR, you can accelerate your racquet more quickly for more spin. Oh, the spin. This setup generates spin levels on par with some of the top textured strings. Why that is, I don't know, but the harder you hit (assuming you have a topspin generating stroke), the more the ball dives into the court at the last second. It only goes long when you flatten it out for no reason. Feel at the net is incredible, but then again, just about all natty setups are great at the net. I took off the rubber band and felt no increase in feel, but that'd be pretty difficult since the touch possible with this setup is pretty much untouchable, no pun intended.

Durability: All good things must come to an end: PerforMAXX does not lie or hide anything back in their descriptions. The WhisperTouch is definitely meant for those with a moderate swing speed with a flatter trajectory on most balls. Scorpion is not textured, and yet, after an hour and fifteen minutes of serving drills, the crosses are frayed more than all of the previously mentioned setups combined. I expect that in a match, the crosses are going after about a set if you're lucky. I think that the 1.30 or 1.25 is more appropriate for a modern topspin stroke...and they say as such in their advertising. I wanted the ultimate in playability so I chose the thinnest gauge and paid the price. So, expect to see me using the 1.25 as my next playtest cross string.

Overall: 9.25/10



Hello, I am the manufacturer of Performaxx strings, and hope my generic comments are welcome in this forum.

Thank you for your thoughtful review of WhisperTouch.
I would like to make one suggestion. Be very careful inhaling the smoke from any plastic or other chemical; in the case of polyurethane, the smoke contains cyanide which is not at all good for your game - or you life expectancy.

The meat smell is burning protein and is indicative of both natural gut and "protein like materials such as nylon (polyamide).

All "coated" natural gut that I have ever seen uses some form of polyurethane or polyurea finish on it; some is isocyanate with a polyol to cure it, some are moisture cured PU, others are pre-reacted poly urethanes and others are less expensive mixture of acrylics and PU. The best are cured (also know as thermoset) coatings which are more resistant to heat after curing, the lesser are "thermoplastic" which means they soften with heat. Most synthetics use extruded thermoplastic coatings.

I hope this is of interest.

A question, are the notches in the frayed string shown above in the mains?
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