Finally got to hit with the new Luxilon 4G as provided by the Tennis Warehouse playtest. I had a tournament to prepare for and didn't have the court time to fool around with a new string. I compared it directly with a fresh set of my usual string, Tourna Poly Big Hitter Blue Rough 16 gauge.
Full set of each.
52 pounds for the Luxilon 4G, 54 pounds for the Blue Rough. I have used a lot of Luxilon Alu Power smooth 1.25 in the past, mostly stringing at 52. During stringing on my Alpha Revo with Wise tension head I immediately noted the 4G was much stiffer than the Blue Rough, stretching approximately 15mm less than the stretchy Blue Rough on the mains. I also noted on opening the package that the 4G felt slightly sticky to my hands.
Racquets used were Head Extreme Pro IG. This is a fairly stiff players racquet with a very wide 16x19 pattern. String spacing is even wider on the IG than the original Microgel Extreme Pro 16x19. With my swing and spin it eats strings "extremely." Blue Rough hits good enough for about an hour of hard practice (more for most matches) and snaps from saw through in 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Court was red clay. Practice partner was my usual, a 4.5 who is improving rapidly.
My initial impression was that the 4G is a great string. Very satisfying acoustics, great control, plenty of spin, easy on the arm. Loved it. After 15 minutes of hard groundstroking I switched to the fresh set of Blue Rough 16 gauge. It felt pretty good also. I didn't have much trouble adjusting back and forth. Launch angles seemed similar, although I didn't test for low short balls where launch angle really comes into play.
After about 30 to 40 minutes of hitting with the 4G I noted the mains were no longer snapping back into place like I prefer. Still hit okay though.
Power levels between the 4G and Blue Rough seemed roughly similar, with a slight edge to the Blue Rough (note the tension differential.) If I strung up the 4G again I might try 50 pounds.
Feel. I am not a big believer in "feel" as having much to do with shotmaking, since the ball is gone from the stringbed long before any feedback from the hand can reach the brain, much less analysis of such feedback performed by the brain and sent back to the hand or arm. However, I will say both strings felt great, no undue shock or vibration. I would give an edge to the 4G. I might describe it as a solid and strong feel. Loved the "thwack" sound.
Both strings provided plenty of diving spin when properly struck.
Comfort of both strings was excellent. I have been working hard on seeing the ball big and hitting more cleanly, so comfort is not an issue for me currently. If I shanked serves as I have in the past and see all around (Please dear tennis player, keep your head up and, more than that, really "see" the ball so your brain has a chance to figure out where the ball is, and I don't have to feel your service shank pain) my arm would be in danger of falling off with any string.
Durability is a disappointment for me. After about 40 minutes of hard groundstroking (and I am pretty consistent) the 4G is notched through at least 30%. The Blue Rough after hitting and one quick set (6-3 me) totaling about 70 minutes is notched at least 50% through and about to snap.
I am guessing I can get another half hour of good enough hitting from the 4G. The Blue Rough will be cut out, as usual.
My guess is the durability issue is due to the extreme string spacing of the Extreme Pro IG. String life might double with an 18 main string racquet.
Snapback durability. There is some, but not a lot of snapback left in the 4G as determined by my fingers pushing hard against the mains. There is of course none left in the Blue Rough. Newly strung the 4G had much more snapback from finger push than the Blue Rough.
Overall I really like the new Luxilon 4G.
Analysis and conclusion. Fresh poly is much better than any used up poly, which is useless to me. Fresh premium poly like Luxilon 4G ($245/reel) may be some few percent better than fresh Blue Rough 16 gauge ($80/reel.) If I were playing more seriously premium poly like Luxilon 4G or Alu Power could be worthwhile. Premium poly might also be more worthwhile if I were using a more tightly spaced 18 main string racquet.
I wish Blue Rough came in a thicker gauge. The present so-called 16 gauge Blue Rough feels thin to me, like a 1.25mm or less. Although I don't have a lot of time for string testing, I may try a few other polys this fall, perhaps in 1.30mm.
Head Extreme Pro IG // Luxilon 4G 1.25mm // 52#
Last edited by blastforehand : 09-15-2012 at 06:40 PM.