Advantages/Disadvantages of using multi on mains and poly on crosses?

dolphinsrus

Rookie
To the experts in the forum; I always break the crosses, even with a full bed of multi. When I do hybrid, my stringer always recommends to put the poly on the mains and the multi on the crosses. What happens if I do the opposite (poly on the crosses and multi on the mains)? Would my strings last longer given that I usually brake the crosses? Am I going to have the same effect on hitting the ball? I was reading that Federer uses that setting. Thanks for your input.
 

wrxinsc

Professional
there is a good bit of discussion regarding hybrid on this site in the string forum. a thorough search will net you many opinions and some facts even.

the c/n are that the string in the main dominate the string bed. so your poly main dominates and the multi cross softens and likely adds a little power and touch. but the poly leads the way.

the opposite would be true the other way around.

added dynamic to that changing characteristic of the string bed is that you will need to revise your tensions so that will likely take several attempts to get this 'new' way sorted out before you can judge the results.

normally the mains break first. in your case you are breaking the multi in the crosses first because that type of string is much more likely to break than poly. Why you break crosses with a full bed too I am not sure. Could have been a one off event. A bad string job. Shank hit. But usually the mains will break first.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Totally different feel, when you switch the multi to the mains and poly to the crosses. To me, it is a much more lively feel. The poly is certainly not lost - I still get tremendous access to spin when I want it. But, there's no doubt that the multi is most influential in this setup. As a result, I'm able to relatively hit flat from the baseline - something I have struggled to do with other setups (without losing control). I also experience noticeably more feel around the net, and with touch shots.

The problem with this setup is durability. And it's a big problem. This setup lasts 4 hours max for me. By contrast, if I put the poly in the mains, and the multi in the crosses, I get 8-10 hours out of it. But, to me it just doesn't feel the same.

I'm currently at a bit of a cross-roads as to what to do. Stringing my racquets in this fashion every other day is not sustainable.

One option would be to go to natural gut mains, ala Federer. In a vacuum, the natural gut would outperform the multi in every way. But, we don't live in a vacuum. Natural gut can be tricky to string with. It can be unpredictable. I've had racquets strung with gut break, while sitting in my bag. It is certainly a costly string, but it would last longer than a multi would. That is assuming it is properly cared for, and doesn't break in my bag, or on the machine. At the end of the day, I don't see this as a viable solution either. Too much to go wrong, and I don't have deep pockets like Federer.

So, I am just starting to test full poly setups, in hopes I will find something that will suit my game.
 
The mains dominate the characteristics of the stringbed. So, whatever you put in the mains, then your racquet will have the feel and characteristics of the mains.

The crosses contribute very little to the overall behavior of the stringbed. They're almost as good as place holders, really.

But with polys in the crosses, here's how I'll break it down:
Pros
- The "dead" effect of polys will be minimized. Because it's in the mains.
- You can use different polys to adjust the feel of your stringbed. Want a slightly stiffer response? Throw a stiff poly in the crosses. Want a softer response? Throw a softer poly in the crosses.

Cons
- The poly crosses will likely chew through your main multis even faster. The polys are likely to be thinner (putting more pressure on your main strings). And polys are like a stiff wire, essentially acting like a saw, chewing up your multis faster. Therefore, it may not solve your durability issue.

Lastly, if you're breaking crosses, then that means you've gotten the most out of your mains. Mains are almost always the ones to go first. So if you're one of those fortunate ones to break crosses (like me! :) ), then you've milked everything out of your mains.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
To the experts in the forum; I always break the crosses, even with a full bed of multi. When I do hybrid, my stringer always recommends to put the poly on the mains and the multi on the crosses. What happens if I do the opposite (poly on the crosses and multi on the mains)? Would my strings last longer given that I usually brake the crosses? Am I going to have the same effect on hitting the ball? I was reading that Federer uses that setting. Thanks for your input.
Most people break the mains especially without hybrid img strings. Putting the multi in the mains will give you a little extra pop. Putting a poly in the crosses will give the cross strings more durability. I doubt that the feel of the string bed and the resulting spin you get will be the same but you're not going to know if you don't try it.
 

anubis

Hall of Fame
To the experts in the forum; I always break the crosses, even with a full bed of multi. When I do hybrid, my stringer always recommends to put the poly on the mains and the multi on the crosses. What happens if I do the opposite (poly on the crosses and multi on the mains)? Would my strings last longer given that I usually brake the crosses? Am I going to have the same effect on hitting the ball? I was reading that Federer uses that setting. Thanks for your input.
I used to always be a "poly/multi" hybrid guy. However, I have since changed my tune. I am now a "multi/poly" hybrid guy.

It was a natural evolution. I was playing poly/multi hybrids and having a lot of success within the first two hours of use. But after a while, the multi crosses got roughened up enough to prevent the poly mains from sliding, and therefore my top spin went down the tubes. I was also getting a lot of arm pain from the poly.

To rest my wrist, I played for a couple of months with full bed of multi. Again, great performance for the first hour or two, but then the strings just locked on to each other and I lost top spin potential. But, it was very comfortable.

The next step was to put poly in the crosses. That's when the magic happened. Not only is it powerful and comfortable, but even after 4 or 5 hours of use, the mains still slide over the crosses just fine. I get SICK topspin for the life of the string bed.

I'm currently using Prince Premier Control 16 @ 54 lbs, and Kirschbaum Pro Line II 16 @ 50 lbs.

What you use in the mains doesn't matter. You can use Gosen OGSM if you want, I've tried it and it works fine. What's most important is that you choose a SMOOTH poly for the cross. If you stick something rough in there, then you're no better off than with poly/multi or anything like that.

The whole point of polyester strings is to increase string snap back, which increases topspin production. So, putting poly in the crosses ensures that your mains can dictate feel and spin.


EDIT: I'm not a string breaker. I've broken one string in my life, that was two years ago, and it was due to a poor string job. So I'm not concerned with that kind of stuff.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
In addition to a smooth cross string a smaller gauge may help. If you normally break the crosses poly would help. And because you primarily looking for a smooth poly Gosen Polylon may be a good choice. I played with Gosen OG micro 16 mains and Polylon crosses and liked it.
 
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