First, thanks again TW for the playtest and the t-shirt. Enjoying both.
Full set or hybrid
- Full Set
Tension used for playtest
- 50lb mains 48lb crosses
Regular string set up
- MSV Focus Hex 1.18 50m/48l
Racquet brand and model used for test
- Volkl OrganiX 8 315g
- I strung one racquet with the test string and one with my normal setup so that I could compare them back-to-back and monitor how they age. I've been trading off, spending about equal time with each setup. Each string has about 5 hours of hitting on it at this point.
- low, as expected. It's obviously quite a bit lower power than the much thinner Focus Hex at the same tension. I found that at 50lbs the power was quite nice once I adjusted my swing to it (i.e., increased racquet speed)
- feels like a Luxilon
It's the classic boardy/stiff feeling that you get from a full bed of Luxilon, which for me is actually kind of nice. Not nearly as lively as the MSVFH1.18, but you definitely feel nice pocketing. I recently played with a full bed of ALU Fluoro, and this gives a similar pocketing sensation, but with a bit more stiffness since the Fluoro is 17 gauge.
- nasty, dirty, heavy spin. This is not a "spin string" in the way that, say, Black Widow is a spin string, which grabs at the ball and gives a bit more string for the same swing. This string doesn't do that. To put real junk on the ball with this string, you need a lot of racquet speed, and this string rewards you by not trampolining the ball over the fence as you amp up your swing. Coming from the Focus Hex, with the same swing on the 4G I was generating less penetration and pretty flat balls. As I worked harder, the string rewarded me with heavy topspin and penetration. Taking that same swing back to the Focus produced long balls on looping shots (too much trampolining) and less penetration on driving shots (too much topspin).
- it's a Luxilon. Check your rotator cuff at the door
Seriously: stiffer than Fluoro by a lot, but I used to play with Kevlar so this still feels reasonably comfortable to my joints.
- no issues yet. I'll update if I manage to break it, but I doubt it'll happen before I'm ready to cut it out.
- I'll return and comment more on this. Already seems to be holding steady much better than the ALU Fluoro did, though.
- Control from the baseline is excellent. Placement on serves is also very good. I don't get the same feeling of control at the net that I enjoy with the Focus Hex, however.
Comparison to my regular string
- Generally, compared to the MSV Focus Hex 1.18, this string is lower power and stiffer. As I've discussed, this lets me use more racquet speed without worry about going long, which results in heavier, more powerful balls.
Why wouldn't I use this all the time, you might ask? First, at least as a training aid I think I will
probably add a stiffer string like this to my arsenal. Against weaker opponents who aren't giving back a lot of pace, this string is also preferable to the Focus. However, playing against hard hitters, particularly players who are stronger than me, I can shorten up my stroke and relax a bit more if the string is doing more work for me, which gives me a greater degree of success; in such a situation, I'd prefer the Focus.
In my service game, I found the 4G to be clearly superior for kick serves, again because of the lower power and thus higher racquet speed: I could get the same amount of spin with the Focus Hex, but have to lower my trajectory or I'll sail the kick serve long. For flat serves, the extra pop from the Focus Hex gave me greater velocity. I found that I was able to get similar directional control from both strings regardless of serve type.
- For me, 50/48 was absolutely perfect for this string. In fact, given the way it played, I'm probably going to experiment with stringing the Focus Hex just a bit tighter, maybe 52/50, to kick down the power a notch so I can do a little more of the work myself.
This string has been excellent through the first several hours. I absolutely love the way it feels when hitting heavy topspin from the baseline, and I found my kick serves to be out of this world. Backhand slices were also well controlled, though I wasn't able to generate the same amount of spin because of the lower racquet speed and shorter stroke for slice shots.
When playing doubles, I wasn't as happy with the feel at the net as with my Focus Hex. The pocketing is also a bit better in general with the Focus, though that's to be expected since it's thinner and thus a bit springier.
When I tested ALU Fluoro, I found that I really liked it, but given that it was 3x more expensive than Focus Hex and didn't seem to last any longer, I couldn't justify going with it. If this string does actually last substantially longer than the Fluoro, I'll be quite happy with it and will definitely consider switching, or at least keeping one racquet strung with each and playing them situationally.