|02-02-2013, 11:12 AM||#1|
The 4G Review Everyone Seems Afraid to Write?
If Big Banger Original got drunk one night, and in a moment of weakness shagged Wilson Enduro Gold, Luxilon 4G would be the closest thing I can imagine to their love-child.
The string is a paradigm of mediocrity, and their marketing campaign and top tier pricing should be a case study for those who wish to charge more than anyone else for something that isn't quite as good as everything else.
They say it doesn't lose tension, they say it plays very similarly from start to finish. I say that isn't much of an accomplishment if it isn't particularly good.
Bragging that you ran the same speed and didn't get tired for your entire race isn't particularly impressive if you were just jogging along at a leisurely pace.
On to the real review.
I strung the 4G in a full job, at 48lbs in my BLXPS90.
The first thing I did was grab a main string with my fingers and pull it; the string hardly snapped back. My initial reaction to this was "Dafuq?". Of what value to a hitter is a poly that doesn't snap back? I say none.
At 48# in my frame this thing should be lively as all get out. It wasn't. It had a little less pop than most good polys do when they are totally dead and just about to break.
I could hit the ball pretty much wherever I wanted to with the stuff, as long as I didn't need to hit a real dipper or sharp angle.
It has some grip to it, but bite isn't the right word. Real poly like ALU or Orig, or Ace digs into the ball, biting into the felt and holds onto the ball until it leaves the stringbed. This string doesn't have that, it feels like it just kind of sticks to the string a bit because the string has a bit of a rubbery property. If you have ever played with Enduro Gold, Pacific Poly Force Extreme, or Polyfibre TCS then you know exactly what I am talking about.
In fact, the closest string I have ever played to this is Pacific Poly Force Extreme. Except the Pacific feels amazing, and volleys stellarly; this doesn't.
It feels kind of dead, kind of rubbery, kind of plasticy, really underwhelming, but not harsh or bad, just blah.
Groundstrokes are ok with it, it has enough grip to get a little bit of spin on the ball; the slower you hit the better it works, but when you start to swing faster you eclipse the stuff's threshold for grabbing the ball and it kind of just stops adding spin to the ball. My shots seemed to gravitate to a flatter trajectory, not a bullet, but maybe 3' net clearance with a little hump because if I launched it any higher I couldn't get enough on it to get it to come back down without deliberately looping the ball. When the time came to starch a ball, you were on your own. I got a few eye high forehands that I decided to lay into, and it seemed like the string looked at me with the scrunched up eyes look a woman gives you when she says "You want to do what?". I think the 4G shines brightest on the backhand slice, seemed to be really nice if you put some weight into it, but not so much on the block slices.
I give it a B- on groundies.
In the forecourt it is ok, my only minor complaint was that it doesn't have quite enough oomph on stretch half volleys. Everything else I could get used to in a week or two. The string did one really weird thing: on backhand block slices, or backhand block volleys especially on but not limited to slowish balls, the ball would leave the stringbed at a MUCH lower trajectory than expected. I have no idea why, but balls which I thought would clear the net by 6" hit the middle of the net. This was no fluke either, happened on 15 or so balls. It was totally normal on anything I leaned into but for sure I had to make an adjustment before we started playing doubles. It was nothing that couldn't be adjusted for so really just a curiosity. It didn't have much feel up at the net or in the forecourt, but it is a poly, and rare is the poly which does. I have been volleying with poly for a pretty long time, so I have low expectations in that department, and it wasn't bothersome to me at all.
I give it a B in forecourt/volleys.
Serves were pretty darned nice. Clean clean clean ball. Not a nasty kicking nail spitting ball, but went where I wanted and bounced or spun a bit. I wasn't getting the big air on the bounce, nor the big steam, but it was certainly serviceable. (pun intended)
I give it a B+ in serving.
Returns were OK, about the same as groundstrokes. A little more pop when I was stretched out and needed to put a swing on the ball would have been nice.
I give it a B- in returning.
I hit with it for about half an hour, played some loose assorted serving points then played 3 sets of dubs. It is notched pretty deeply, especially in the top of the bed where I hit when I serve. I will hit with Mr. Pickle9 tonight and see if it breaks, but the stuff doesn't seem much more durable than ALU. He will be able to hopefully give some feedback on the quality of my shots compared to my normal setup.
The string certainly isn't terrible, it is playable for sure. Better even than most of the crap out there. It would be ideal for the teaching pro or serious rec player who had strokes which were more classic, and wanted to just string his sticks and forget about them, have them play the same all the time because it didn't really matter since he usually played with people he was much better than, but still have them not suck if he needed to play a set here or there.
I know a lot of people who fit that description, and I would sincerely recommend this string to them, if it was $9. But it isn't $9, it is $17, and I see no earthly reason for someone to buy it at that price. The stuff doesn't play any better than dead ALU, so if you want a string that doesn't lose tension, and plays the same all the time, string with something good, let a friend play with it while it is good, then once it dies have him give it to you, and you will be thrilled.
You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.