String: Big Hitter Blue Rough
Frame(s): YT Radical Pro
Tension: 50 reference
After hitting the BHB7 and liking it, I figured I'd play-test its little brother side by side. This is my first time using a twisted string.
I did NOT enjoy stringing this frame. I can only imagine what a full bed would be like in a prestige mid... I don't know whether it's the twisted profile, or the nature of the string but this stuff seems to get caught on everything and anything in the vicinity. Not to mention, for a soft string it has a heck of a lot of coil memory. Every time I turned around it seemed to have cork-screwed itself up. That, and my fingers now are sore from fanning-- waah.
Ok, on to a more normal take: The string is a bit of a contradiction to me. It feels surprisingly soft if you try to bend it loose but stiff as PHT when under tension. A bit of a pain in the butt to finagle with blocked holes. I also noticed that at 50lbs pull on my lockout, it seemed to stretch quite a bit. Weaving crosses is fairly easy but fanning them makes a terrible sound. I'd put it on par with pulling dry gut
Damnit, the pain in the butt stringing was worth it. BHBR hits really nicely as a fresh frame. I mean, REALLY nicely! Spin is generous although power isn't monumental (that's ok for me). RHS is a key here and when kept steady and fast, balls literally never go out. I found myself thinking uh oh, that one's ou...hmm, line. The gentleman with whom I was hitting with was shocked that so many balls were able to clip the line consistantly. Heck, I was surprised! Feel is a touch stiffer or crisper than Big Hitter Black 7 (which I hit predominantly today) but not necessarily uncomfortable; just different.
Update: This string is definitely a spin monster if you have the appropriate RHS. I was shocked at how many balls dive-bombed into the line when I thought they were going to go at least a foot long. Hitting flat is pretty solid too since there's always some measure of spin on the ball. Slices are above average and benefit from more side to side movement than sitting super low. If I carved under the ball, I was able to hook slices a bit.
Not terribly fond of flat serves but spin serves definitely benefit here. The pop is there but the feel isn't among my preferred. Slice and twist serves are probably the strongest benefactors. The ball really moves side to side.
It does the job-- balls come off the stringbed with snap. If you slice down on the ball, you can get a nice measure of backspin to make your volleys stay low or die on the court. I had a fun time hitting drop shots with this setup. The feel isn't necessarily there but the backspin is just plain silly.
Shocking as it sounds, I was able to notice a difference over the course of 2.5 hours of play. From the get go, the ball was blasting into the court and control was really top notch due to the spin. Towards the end of play, I noticed those shots starting to go long, even if it was only a foot or so. Also, the strings started to shift a touch. Don't get me wrong, control is still great but it's not quite what it was before the string bed settled.
Not looking great. The strings are half notched after 2.5 hours of play.
Edit: You've got to be freaking kidding me... popped just under the 3 hour mark. Not happy.
Final thoughts: For those that like the crisp response of tour bite, and lux, I think this is a great alternative. The string inherently is softer than the both but still has the same bite. The ball simply drops out of the air. Having said that, I don't necessarily agree with a lot of the posters that think BHBR is softer than Black 7. The string may be soft, but the response of the string is simply not the same. It's much crisper, or less elastic-- you choose. Black7 simply pockets the ball more and in my opinion, is more comfortable. The vertical spin is better with BHBR but the ball penetration is better with B7.
Groundstrokes: 4/5 This is definitely a baseliner setup.
Spin: 5/5 Shining point here
Power: 4/5. It's there if you need it but it comes more from the crispness of the string
Comfort: 3.5/5 Comfortable, but at this tension, I wasn't terribly impressed. Towards the end of play, my wrist started to bother me.
Tension: 3.5/5 It's still good but the playing characteristics have changed.