ALU, Twice tried, 2 different impressions

I bought a packet of Alu power lime 1.25 because I figured it's something all tennis players and string enthusiasts should try at least once, even though I typically gravitate towards shaped polys. I was blown away and totally understood why Sampras called them "cheatilon", because that's how it felt.

But, I thought before I bought a reel that costs more than a new tennis racket, I should try them again with a single packet.

This time they're like a totally different string. The low launch angle that would guaranty the ball dropped one foot inside the baseline everytime has been changed to higher (though be it more topspin heavy) launch angle. The laser like slices of the first set have to reigned in to stop them from floating long.

Basically they're behaving like a shaped poly. They're not bad, but when I first used them I totally became a round poly convert, now I'm just confused.

Anyone have similar experiences with luxilon, or any other brands for that matter? Are strings prone to quality control issues like tennis rackets?
 

Louis33

Semi-Pro
Although a quality control issue can happen it seems very unlikely. With how fast poly can lose tension I would be looking at tension differences between your first and second pack of strings.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
(y) I concur. Assuming that both packs were purchased from a reputable dealer and not the auction site, where fakes abound, were the string jobs done by the same stringer and machine? Different stringers at a pro shop can yield different results with the same ref tension even when using the same machine.
 
(y) I concur. Assuming that both packs were purchased from a reputable dealer and not the auction site, where fakes abound, were the string jobs done by the same stringer and machine? Different stringers at a pro shop can yield different results with the same ref tension even when using the same machine.
It was the same stringer and machine.

The main variable I can think of is the 2nd and 3rd time I played with them were outdoors on fairly warm (for Sweden anyway) days, about 28⁰c (80⁰f). 2 hour matches each time.
The 1st and 4th(most recent) times. Were indoors. The 1st I can't remember thinking about the strings (but i do remember losing;)) and the last they were playing like i described in my original post. I've only become gradually more conscious of the strings each time I've played, but it was during the third time it became obvious something was different.

I don't know if such relatively mild weather is enough to effect strings but I've deduced that the cause is most likely a quality control or an environmental one.

It should be noted that this isn't an issue of dead strings. I got about 15 hours out of the first set, and even then it was mainly touch shots that were effected. Ground strokes were still fine though I had to keep hitting them harder and harder in order to maintain the number of rotations on the ball and get to drop inside the baseline. Launch angle never changed, and I think the were about 19kg or ~40lbs when I cut them out. A 5kg drop over 15 hours, pretty standard.
 
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WYK

Hall of Fame
I bought a packet of Alu power lime 1.25 because I figured it's something all tennis players and string enthusiasts should try at least once, even though I typically gravitate towards shaped polys. I was blown away and totally understood why Sampras called them "cheatilon", because that's how it felt.

But, I thought before I bought a reel that costs more than a new tennis racket, I should try them again with a single packet.

This time they're like a totally different string. The low launch angle that would guaranty the ball dropped one foot inside the baseline everytime has been changed to higher (though be it more topspin heavy) launch angle. The laser like slices of the first set have to reigned in to stop them from floating long.

Basically they're behaving like a shaped poly. They're not bad, but when I first used them I totally became a round poly convert, now I'm just confused.

Anyone have similar experiences with luxilon, or any other brands for that matter? Are strings prone to quality control issues like tennis rackets?
Once you get a stringing machine, you begin to realize that the racquet is literally only half of the equation. And you also find that you can completely change the properties of a racquet by changing the string and tension.
 
Once you get a stringing machine, you begin to realize that the racquet is literally only half of the equation. And you also find that you can completely change the properties of a racquet by changing the string and tension.
This I already know.

Both packets were strung at my usual tension of 24/25kg by the same stringer on the same machine.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
If you didn't string them yourself, you won't really know if it was strung differently. I suggest you get a stringing machine and learn to string if you want to experiment with strings.
I personally haven't seen a huge difference from batch to batch. However, the issue you are describing is something I have seen when two different tensions or stringers/machines are used.
ALU loses a lot of tension as well. So the two strings are likely at different stages of tension loss, too. Also depending on the weather they were strung in or played with, this can affect the string job and the resultant feel. Etc etc etc.
All these I were eluding to in my response. I apologize for not being more specific in your situation.
Still, if you are noticing a big difference, it is more likely due to the stringbed than a QC issue. But stranger things have happened.
 
If you didn't string them yourself, you won't really know if it was strung differently. I suggest you get a stringing machine and learn to string if you want to experiment with strings.
I personally haven't seen a huge difference from batch to batch. However, the issue you are describing is something I have seen when two different tensions or stringers/machines are used.
ALU loses a lot of tension as well. So the two strings are likely at different stages of tension loss, too. Also depending on the weather they were strung in or played with, this can affect the string job and the resultant feel. Etc etc etc.
All these I were eluding to in my response. I apologize for not being more specific in your situation.
Still, if you are noticing a big difference, it is more likely due to the stringbed than a QC issue. But stranger things have happened.
A Gamma Progression II 602 FC - Pro was next on my "to buy list" but I was so smitten with the ALU strings I was going to buy a paired racket to my custom Angell TC100 and have 1 with ALU and one with Volkl Cyclone, seemed like it would be the ultimate tennis bag combo. And I put off getting a stringing machine for the time being. Now I'm unsure...:(
 
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WYK

Hall of Fame
I have a cheap pros pro comet lockout I got on sale for €330 delivered from their eastern european factory direct. I have owned it for 5 years or so. And it still calibrates pretty close to what it says for kilograms.
When I got it, I thought I would just use it to help folks string their sticks and to try out a few different strings. What ended up happening was I started to experiment with strings and tension. Dozens and dozens of them. I found that how a stick was strung and by what had just as much an affect on the racquet performance as the racquet.

If you ask me, unless you are basically a pro and know what you need, buying custom racquets will not help your game and tennis experience nearly as much as spending that money on a stringing machine and strings and finding otu what works for you.
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
I have a cheap pros pro comet lockout I got on sale for €330 delivered from their eastern european factory direct. I have owned it for 5 years or so. And it still calibrates pretty close to what it says for kilograms.
When I got it, I thought I would just use it to help folks string their sticks and to try out a few different strings. What ended up happening was I started to experiment with strings and tension. Dozens and dozens of them. I found that how a stick was strung and by what had just as much an affect on the racquet performance as the racquet.

If you ask me, unless you are basically a pro and know what you need, buying custom racquets will not help your game and tennis experience nearly as much as spending that money on a stringing machine and strings and finding otu what works for you.
This is very true. Ive been methodical after getting and (finally) settling on new rackets about 9 months ago. Since then it has been nothing but string experiments from home. I have finally found (i think) the string for me after dozens of tension/gauge/brand/type iterations.

Itll be nice to just remove all the other variables and focus on my game!

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
 
I have a cheap pros pro comet lockout I got on sale for €330 delivered from their eastern european factory direct. I have owned it for 5 years or so. And it still calibrates pretty close to what it says for kilograms.
When I got it, I thought I would just use it to help folks string their sticks and to try out a few different strings. What ended up happening was I started to experiment with strings and tension. Dozens and dozens of them. I found that how a stick was strung and by what had just as much an affect on the racquet performance as the racquet.

If you ask me, unless you are basically a pro and know what you need, buying custom racquets will not help your game and tennis experience nearly as much as spending that money on a stringing machine and strings and finding otu what works for you.
I feel like I've understated how into strings I am. You're, like, preaching to the choir.

And I already own a custom racket and I want to get a paired one, what's strange?
 
I have a cheap pros pro comet lockout I got on sale for €330 delivered from their eastern european factory direct. I have owned it for 5 years or so. And it still calibrates pretty close to what it says for kilograms.
When I got it, I thought I would just use it to help folks string their sticks and to try out a few different strings. What ended up happening was I started to experiment with strings and tension. Dozens and dozens of them. I found that how a stick was strung and by what had just as much an affect on the racquet performance as the racquet.

If you ask me, unless you are basically a pro and know what you need, buying custom racquets will not help your game and tennis experience nearly as much as spending that money on a stringing machine and strings and finding otu what works for you.
And just to reiterate; same stringer, same regularly calibrated electronic pull machine, same tension.
 
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QuadCam

Professional
DON'T BUY any of the colored Alu Powers. Buy the original silver 16L.. That's The magic string! I've tried the red and the lime and theb limited edition Purple. They shouldn't even be called Alu Power! they're ok pokys but they aren't Alu Power.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Try ALU Power 16L Silver at a lower tension.... 40-42lbs (18-19kg)
It's magical (for a few hours...)
Oh and make sure you buy from an authorized dealer, I've tried the fake ALU before and it was garbage.
 
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Try ALU Power 16L Silver at a lower tension.... 40-42lbs (18-19kg)
It's magical (for a few hours...)
Oh and make sure you buy from an authorized dealer, I've tried the fake ALU before and it was garbage.
Yes, it's been mentioned a few times now that the original silver/gray colour is the only true ALU, so I bought a packet yesterday from tennispro.eu
I also ordered my second Angell TC100 that will be paired exactly to the first one (they keep records of all their custom rackets), so I can make my ultimate tennis bag combo of ALU (or another round poly, I have a few packets to try, technifibre razorcode, kirschbaum pro line evolution) in one & Volkl Cyclone in the other.
 

LocNetMonster

Professional
The main variable I can think of is the 2nd and 3rd time I played with them were outdoors on fairly warm (for Sweden anyway) days, about 28⁰c (80⁰f). 2 hour matches each time.

The 1st and 4th(most recent) times. Were indoors. The 1st I can't remember thinking about the strings (but i do remember losing;)) and the last they were playing like i described in my original post. I've only become gradually more conscious of the strings each time I've played, but it was during the third time it became obvious something was different.

I don't know if such relatively mild weather is enough to effect strings but I've deduced that the cause is most likely a quality control or an environmental one.
In my own personal experience a 10 or 15º temp difference definitely affects playability with different polys. One evening before round one of a local tourney I was hitting with a partner and the temp was in the low 70s. I was hitting great. Couldn't miss. The next day at 11a, the temp was in the low 90s and climbing. Humidity was in the 90s. It baking season in Illinois. Suddenly, I could not keep the ball in court. I over-hit everything and my touch shots were bouncing higher or deeper than I was aiming. I had my butt handed to me. Two or three days later, the magic returned. The temp/humidity was the about the same as the night before the tourney. This made me say hmmmm... and it led a few hours of research on the web and a haphazard experiment of stringing for weather conditions.

So these two articles might be useful to you ....

"Researchers Crawford Lindsley and Rod Cross performed an in-depth study exploring the effect of temperature on string tension and stiffness. This experiment was performed to determine the effect of temperature on the stiffness, elongation, tension loss, and maintenance of tennis strings. Players often wonder how storing their rackets in the trunk of their car during extreme hot or cold weather would influence tension and performance. They found that tennis rackets perform noticeably differently at different temperatures, as well as be affected by the conditions during which stringing itself takes place. " https://www.tennisreviewer.com/how-weather-and-environment-impact-tennis-strings/

"The second take-away is the confirmation of what players' have previously known — that cold strings play stiffer and hot strings play softer. This is expected. Confirming beliefs and behaviors is as important, if not as sexy, as exposing the myths and follies of our concepts. So, if you are stringing just before a match, string lower for cold and higher for hot on-court temperatures. " http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/temperature.php
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Playing with Alu Power in any number of frames it makes me stop thinking that something is lacking with the set up that I have in hand.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Yes, it's been mentioned a few times now that the original silver/gray colour is the only true ALU, so I bought a packet yesterday from tennispro.eu
I also ordered my second Angell TC100 that will be paired exactly to the first one (they keep records of all their custom rackets), so I can make my ultimate tennis bag combo of ALU (or another round poly, I have a few packets to try, technifibre razorcode, kirschbaum pro line evolution) in one & Volkl Cyclone in the other.
Is it the Angell RA 70 or 63?
Do you use a method of checking the tension on the stringjobs such as a Stringmeter or Racquettune? If not, even though it's the same stringer, same machine, same tension all it takes is a loose or dirty slipping clamp to give you a resulting tension 3-4kg less than normal, which is maybe when you really liked the setup.
Try ALU at 18-20kg. String at this tension initially, it's not the same experience as stringing at 25kg and playing 15 hours until it gets to 19kg.
I was super skeptical of low tension because I used to play with a stiff powerful Pure Aero Tour 345SW/350g and balls would just fly when strung under 23kg.
I demo-ed a friend's thin beam, smaller head, softer frame with ALU at 18kg and I just couldn't believe the comfort and how the balls were staying in the court with so much spin.
I now alternate between gut/poly hybrid in a Blade 98 or RF97 and full bed of ALU power at 18-19kg in the Blade 98.
The ALU at this tension feels as soft and comfortable as the gut/poly.
The only downside is that it does not last as long as the gut/poly and top of the frame shots are just ever slightly more jarring.
Strangely, I do not like ALU or ALU Rough as a cross with natural gut, at any tension.
 
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Is it the Angell RA 70 or 63?
Do you use a method of checking the tension on the stringjobs such as a Stringmeter or Racquettune? If not, even though it's the same stringer, same machine, same tension all it takes is a loose or dirty slipping clamp to give you a resulting tension 3-4kg less than normal, which is maybe when you really liked the setup.
Try ALU at 18-20kg. String at this tension initially, it's not the same experience as stringing at 25kg and playing 15 hours until it gets to 19kg.
I was super skeptical of low tension because I used to play with a stiff powerful Pure Aero Tour 345SW/350g and balls would just fly when strung under 23kg.
I demo-ed a friend's thin beam, smaller head, softer frame with ALU at 18kg and I just couldn't believe the comfort and how the balls were staying in the court with so much spin.
I now alternate between gut/poly hybrid in a Blade 98 or RF97 and full bed of ALU power at 18-19kg in the Blade 98.
The ALU at this tension feels as soft and comfortable as the gut/poly.
The only downside is that it does not last as long as the gut/poly and top of the frame shots are just ever slightly more jarring.
Strangely, I do not like ALU or ALU Rough as a cross with natural gut, at any tension.
RA 63.
The first time I tested them before playing at all using Tennis Tension (currently rated 4.4 on the google play store) and it measured them at 23.5 in the cross (I requested 24/25 as usual). So within the realm of app error or first day tension loss.

The second time I didn't test until after about 4 hours of play and then it was at ~21kg. About were I would expect to be after 4 hours.

I liked stringing low as well with low powered 18×20 frames but the TC100 (yes even the RA 63) is quite a powerful stick, and I craved a bit more control, and restringing weekly became tiresome and expensive.

When I tested with my fingers the snap back on the mains wasn't as profuse and I noticed some notching, so I think maybe it's all a result of stringer error (I rushed him a bit) or playing in the warm sun, or both.
 

brady1212

New User
Sounds like a d*** thing to say to be honest.
I couldn't disagree more. It actually sounds like really smart advice. I wish my high school coach told me that. I was always switching up my gear looking for improvement. I think always having to adjust to different rackets and strings did more harm than good for my game back then.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Honestly i recommend this to my junior players so they stop tinkering with strings
That is what we find with players that start poly shopping. String their frame with Lux Alu Power and find the tension that works for them and move on. Then we can get to work and the kid stops thinking about his strings. Adult players could benefit from this tremendously.
 
I couldn't disagree more. It actually sounds like really smart advice. I wish my high school coach told me that. I was always switching up my gear looking for improvement. I think always having to adjust to different rackets and strings did more harm than good for my game back then.
It's a d*** thing to say because it's not what this thread is about. It's about a curiosity in the performance of ALU from one packet to the next.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
I couldn't disagree more. It actually sounds like really smart advice. I wish my high school coach told me that. I was always switching up my gear looking for improvement. I think always having to adjust to different rackets and strings did more harm than good for my game back then.
No doubt. If I were in the midst of intense competitive tennis, juniors, collegiate, etc I would be sticking with the same set up and did. Since I’m just teaching and training to stay in shape it’s kinda fun to try different set ups. Have to be educated about all of it at this point.
As far as this thread goes Luxilon strings are one of the most consistent strings made from string job to string job. Conditions change and it seems like strings are different. It can even be as simple as the humidity on any given day.
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
I couldn't disagree more. It actually sounds like really smart advice. I wish my high school coach told me that. I was always switching up my gear looking for improvement. I think always having to adjust to different rackets and strings did more harm than good for my game back then.
I think we lose track of the idea that our body/mind is very sensitive to change and that it is hard to truly improve our play of the game if characteristics of the equipment is always changing.

Keeping equipment as a "constant" will let you make other things "variables" like different strategy, footwork patterns etc

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