Playtesting both the 16x19 and the 18x20 side by side.
String: WeissCannon Black 5 Edge 17
Frame(s): LM Radical MP, FXP Radical Tour
Both frames at 49 reference tension using the "Jet" Method. The 18x20 can be a bit of a pain in the butt to weave with B5E but otherwise no real difficulties. Something in the back of my mind is telling me I should have probably strung the 18x20 a bit looser but we'll see how it plays.
I had the chance to hit with both of these frames for about half an hour each tonight with a high level partner (5.0 former D1 athlete). Some really unexpected results here.
Much softer/ more pocketing than the TB/PL II. I didn't think that was possible but I wasn't particularly happy with the initial feel of the ball-- it just wasn't predictable. Strings were shifting and I was yet again thinking "Cut job, string tighter." Once the strings settled a bit and I stuck a beefier vibration dampener on it, things got better. Disgusting access to spin if you step in and hit the ball properly. My partner hits with a ridiculous ammt. of spin for starters; the type of shots that take off at a high angle, look like they're sailing long, then dive-bomb into the ground and explode up-- it's tough to work with especially in dim lighting on har-tru courts with balls fast approaching the color forest green. Striking the ball properly, though, I saw the same results on my strokes (at a lower launch angle) which was immensely satisfying. Although he was able to handle it, the ball was at shoulder/ head height for him. Again, small errors = rocket launcher. Overall, a very comfortable hit. The downside--the freaking strings are already notched...no bueno
I was having a tough time returning my partner's balls consistently so I figured I'd try the 18x20. Totally different feel @ the same tension. The frame went from a cradling, soft, spin machine to a much stiffer control freak. In the 16x19 you can feel the strings shifting and snapping back. In the 18x20 it's just solid contact. What I made up for in consistency, I lost in ball depth. Previously I was hitting on or near the baseline but with the tighter string pattern I saw more of my balls landing short @ the service line. In conjunction with ball depth I thought I noticed a decrease in pace and spin overall even though my partner seemed to disagree. He said that when I drove the ball deep into the court, it seemed to have just as much spin. No notching which is good.
HOLY FRIJOLES...I'm having a panic attack here. I'm convinced this must be a fluke. Why am I freaking out? If I would give up now on this review I'd have to admit that WeissCannon has made a crapola product. Had an absolutely terrible hit tonight-- the other kid couldn't keep the ball in past 3 shots (including the feed). Anyways. The B5E didn't really play any better tonight than it did the first time I hit it. In fact, it played 100x better the first time. Strings were moving around, balls were sailing, and the only shot I seemed to be able to hit was flat. If I had to describe the stringbed tonight in one word, I would use "sloppy." Just a terrible, horrible, hit. Furthermore, with less than 2 hours total on the frame, the strings are SHOT. They're not only moving around like crazy but notched more than half way though. If I hit with someone with even mild spin production, they'll pop within 15...
I'm calling a mulligan here. Total.Do.Over but I'll be upping tension. **shakes head solemnly**
Best pic I could get but not even the worst of the notching...
Review postponed for 18x20 as well-- I sold the frame