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Old 10-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5,398

Originally Posted by Torres View Post
As per title.

I have two sticks, but one feels slightly brassier than the other - is there any way of softening it, and has anyone tried a method that works?

The only things I can think that might work are:

1. Stringing / re-stringing it a zillion times.
2. Putting in on a RDC and pressing the 'flex reading' button a zillion times, whilst flipping it over each time.
3. Stringing it super high tension, letting it sit, cutting out the strings. Letting it sit. Repeat x alot.

Any of these likely to work? Any reliable methods?
RDC flex gives a measure of how much the throat/neck of the racquet bends when pressure is applied slowly. Another measure of flexibility is vibration frequency, which tells you how many times the frame vibrates or oscillates back and forth in a second when the impact is at speed, like during a real hit. The frequency of vibration is related to the amplitude of vibration. If the frame oscillates fewer times in a second it means it is also flexing a greater distance each time it oscillates. In other words it is more flexible. And this measurement tells you about the entire frame and not just the neck/throat so is probably more relevant to feel and feedback than static (RDC) flex measurements.

Vibration frequency tells us things about the stiffness of the frame material but also about mass and mass distribution. If you have two identical racquets and add 20 grams to one of them it will be more flexible, dynamically, which you can certainly feel.

Experimental results show that adding mass to the poles reduces vibration frequency (dynamic stiffness) the most. Some people claim that adding mass to the center of the frame will increase vibration frequency and make the frame feel stiffer, but I don't know if that has been tested by experiment. Since adding mass at 12 o'clock is usually unwelcome due to swingweight concerns, adding 5 grams or so in the butt is probably better. On the other hand, if you are starting with "platform" racquets you can add weight at the poles to bring them to your playing weight but with a flexier feel.

The RacquetTune app now lets you test vibration frequency so you could use that to compare pre and post-mods.

Tennis Warehouse University publishes vibration frequency specs:

If you are trying to make the frame more flexible at the throat and neck, I suppose you could repeatedly let an RDC machine flex it.
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