Gauge of playtest string - 17g
Tension used for playtest - 49lbs
Regular string set up – Big Hitter Black 7 @ 49lbs
Racquet brand and model used for test – Donnay Dual-X Silver
Power of test string - The Cyclone Tour had, for me, just enough power to keep me satisfied. Power was definitely not in short supply; however you definitely have to really swing to get it. Overall, while it wasn’t as powerful as BHB7 I was very satisfied with the power that I was getting from these strings.
Feel – While touch shots were well above average the actual sound and feedback I got from hitting was not good. I got very little pocketing and the sound off the strings was a cheap “pingy” sound. Even with well struck balls I didn’t get any deep boom like sounds or a solid feeling pop that I’m accustomed to. With that said, however, my drop shots and touch shots were actually very nice. My hitting partner commented on a few of the drop shots and how the spin pulled the ball back toward the net after the bounce. My volleys were solid and placement was good. While I wasn’t pleased with the feel of the strings, the end result was definitely a positive. On a side note, these strings, while softer than MSV FH and RPM blast and all the other stiffer strings they are not as soft compared to BHB7 or Black Widow. If you like a soft poly this may not be for you, and if you like a stiffer poly, again this may not be for you, however if you want a string that is literally in the middle than definitely give these a try. Lastly, I had no arm issues or soreness after my match.
Spin – Compared to BHB7 the spin just doesn’t compare (most don’t), but that doesn’t mean the spin is lacking. Not many strings can give you the spin and work of BHB7 and while I couldn’t generate the super aggressive dips and high bouncing balls, I can’t recall any of my shots going long and only a one falling unreasonably short. The spin is definitely controllable and ample when aggressively struck. My backhand slice was above average but I did notice more than a few falling short, but even then it skid of the ground making it very difficult on my opponent. While I wasn’t trying to hit these short low shots, again, the end result was positive. I also remember hitting a topspin backhand which felt like it should have gone long, and I though it did if not for my partner telling me it landed on the line. I was very impressed by the spin after that shot and while BHB7 generates more spin I almost prefer this more controllable, yet ample, amount of spin generated by CT.
Durability – Compared to BHB7 CT is definitely more durable. I played two very long sets with this setup and after my session I noticed very little notching and wear. Though definitely, not as durable as MSV FH, but more durable than BHB7 and Hurricane Pro Tour. I was very satisfied with the wear or lack there of.
Playability Duration – I played 2 sets hitting aggressive off the baseline and kicking my first and second servce and I did not notice any decline in play or playability. In fact, as I continued and got accustomed to the setup I was definitely controlling my shots better and still getting a good amount of spin and power. Tension maintenance seemed fine for 2 strong sets.
Control – I think this is the strong point for this string. It does a lot of things well, not great, but well and the amount of control you get with the nice amount of power, for me, was welcomed. The only shots I generally missed were wide and in the net and mostly those shots were forced errors from my opponent. I played a very consistent match and found I could go for more and still feel confident that I wasn’t going to spray the ball.
Tension recommendations – Since tension varies from racquet to racquet I was happy with my 49 lbs since this line of Donnay is generally low in power. I prefer very powerful strings since I feel I can get all the control from the racquet. For more powerful racquets I would say 52-55 lbs would be a good start, for lower power racquets 45-49 lbs.
Compare to the string you use most often – Not as powerful as BHB7 or as “spinny”, however I would say the control is better and overall a very nice string for someone who hasn’t played with, or has limited experience with a poly. This does everything well, good touch, nice power, good spin, and above average control. If you don’t mind the lack of feel and feedback I think it’s a very nice entry level string made for the masses. Personally I’m going to play with this some more and fool around with the tension. Overall I like it and may consider this as an option going forward.
If you have played with the original Cyclone, please compare – N/A
Donnay X-Dual Silver