WeissCANNON B5E / Prince Recoil
I've already talked about B5E at length. Recoil, however, I've never used until now. It's a very unique feeling string. The packaging states 1.30mm. You'd have to drug me to believe that the string is that thick. I was right as I used my calipers and it measured 1.255mm before stringing. This is 17g multi, no question about it. Tensioned, it's even thinner. Nonetheless, it weaves like a synthetic gut. It's not floppy like most multis at all. It has a very bumpy texture in the hand, one which I've never felt before. It's not actually slick feeling like Polystar polys are, but it's very, very smooth. I'm progressively lowering tension, so I've strung these all the same: 47/50 lbs.
I'm going to mix it up a bit and put half of my thoughts here and half at the end like I normally do. There is a caveat with my remarks here. You need to keep in mind that B5E is my go-to main string, so changing only one aspect, especially a part of the stringbed, will be very noticable for me. If it isn't, then I know the cross change makes little difference. That's the first caveat: I know 50% of what I'm reviewing here better than any other string, so it's up to the cross to blow me away...or otherwise. The second caveat is related to the above. My normal setup, B5E/WT, costs $16 a frame: 6 bucks for the poly, 10 for the gut crosses (reel discount during promotional pricing dropped it for me personally, and bulk ordering of the gut cut that cost for me as well, but the figure there is what it costs off the shelf right now). Using the retail prices for this setup, it's 6 for the poly, and near as makes no difference, 9 for the crosses. That's $15, and hence only one dollar cheaper for a synthetic cross versus a great performing natural gut cross. Keep that in mind: value for money is very significant here, and my ratings will be based on the comparison between the performance of the Recoil and natural gut. If there's little difference, it will be rated the same to slightly worse. If it's worse, it will be rated harshly. If it's better, it will be rated far higher than the gut.
Here is the beginning of the mediocrity. Using Recoil as a cross simply yields nothing positive in this setup. It honestly feels like using a synthetic gut cross, which as Torres posted above, Recoil essentially is. Would you pay $9 for a synthetic gut cross string? I sure as hell wouldn't, especially if I can get natural gut for 1 dollar more and have it play much better. There is far less power and responsiveness from the stringbed. The resiliency of the gut version is immediately evident when using Recoil as a cross. Any form of pickup shot: stretched forehand defensive shots, 1HBH flicks off the baseline or when jammed, half volleys, etc., are all inferior. There is much less spin off of both wings as well. For a baseliner, you're better off simply using PSGD. Since I'm not a baseliner, please continue to read on.
Same as the groundstrokes. Nothing here is better than with the gut. It just ruins the feeling of the B5E while the natty enhances it. There's less power and less spin. Since I rely on my serve, this means a large no. Again, if you don't rely on your serve, then there's still no reason to waste Recoil in the crosses.
This, interestingly, is the most peculiar aspect of this string setup. Nothing I have tested to date volleys as well. Control is simply outstanding. While touch shots aren't up there with the B5E/gut hybrid, normal volleying feels far more solid. You really have the confidence to modulate your shot for either a flatter put away, or some back or sidespin to create a more interesting angle. I don't know if it's the higher stiffness and thus lower power, but without question, nothing I've done yet in this thread or in my life for that matter volleys as well. Touch and feel, however, leave some to be desired.
For something called Recoil whose alleged Pièce de résistance is superior string realignment, this fails miserably. The cross strings were sliding all over the place. They are much slicker, albeit, than uncoated gut (either WT Pro or WT after fraying), but even with other multis that I've used in this thread such as NRG2 and MCS, the crosses are all over the place. B5E also does not realign as well as it does with gut in the crosses, so the surface doesn't help to generate more spin via snapback. I can't really tell if the tension has dropped since the power level was low to begin with compared to the gut.
This setup is a letdown only, and please do understand why I keep repeating this, but only because Recoil is so highly priced. I honestly feel that you would have the same results using OGSM. Maybe Recoil is great as a main, I don't know. What I do know is that I'll gladly keep paying my extra dollar to have natural gut complement a fine poly like B5E.