Common pre-poly string setups?

beltsman

Legend
What were the most common pre-poly string setups? Both pro and amateur.

What was the typical 3.5 using in 1990?
 

galain

Hall of Fame
I was just about to say Prince SynGut w/Duraflex (usually at 60lbs) but @Steve Huff beat me to it.

I do remember saving once and investing in a bed of Victor Imperial Gut - with a blue twist - that I dutifully rubbed candle wax over to protect it from moisture. But Prince Syn Gut was the go to for most of us club players.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
I was more a Gosen guy(after being a rep in the mid-80s); but Gamma multis and Technifibre variants were also very popular with folks looking for a bit of plushness and feel vs serious durability. I thought PSD in 16 was dull as heck; but it sure did sell. OG Micro syn from Gosen was my first choice for those PSD customers who didn't specify but wanted a good basic syn.
Strung a bit of nat gut in full beds; but went more and more to gut hybrids for those players during the '80s-'90s.
I was partial to skinny aramid fiber strings for mains(low tension) paired with something 'fun'(multis) in the crosses for my personal use(mostly in my Volkl 9 and 10-series variants).

This is a very interesting topic for me as I have been out of the tennis loop for over a decade. It coincides with my question about teaching a 10-12 year old beginner ?what? grip and basic strokes. Things have changed a bit in this 'new' century ;)
 
I remember, at least for the late 80s I was using Head Tournament 20 (T-20) synthetic. About the same time my buddies were using Pro Blend and Gutex.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
PSG was ubiquitous. I used whatever Gamma or top end there was at the time from the college stringer or the club at 60-64# in my Pog Mid.
 

galain

Hall of Fame
I recall buying Tennis or World Tennis magazine back in Australia and marvelling at all the things that were available in the US that we'd never get our hands on. I think the Gamma string was called Gamma Rough or Gamma Gut Rough that I was convinced would get me to Wimbledon if only it were available to me Down Under.
 

vandre

Hall of Fame
i don't know about 1990 but i can tell you in 1994 there was a group of us using a hybrid setup of klippermate graphite mains and synthetic gut crosses. i also knew someone back then who used a full bed of the graphite. it may not have been typical but if you'd had known us back then you'd also know we weren't "typical"... ;)
 

beltsman

Legend
i don't know about 1990 but i can tell you in 1994 there was a group of us using a hybrid setup of klippermate graphite mains and synthetic gut crosses. i also knew someone back then who used a full bed of the graphite. it may not have been typical but if you'd had known us back then you'd also know we weren't "typical"... ;)
Never heard of that! What is it?
 
I recall buying Tennis or World Tennis magazine back in Australia and marvelling at all the things that were available in the US that we'd never get our hands on. I think the Gamma string was called Gamma Rough or Gamma Gut Rough that I was convinced would get me to Wimbledon if only it were available to me Down Under.
That was a tough one to string as I recall!
 
I don't remember Klippermate Graphite, but there was a Prince Graphite string. There were also other black strings that definitely left black lines on the ball.
 

vandre

Hall of Fame
Never heard of that! What is it?

i think this is the "modern equivalent" of what we used back then. what everyone is saying about the black lines on the ball is 100% accurate! it wasn't as durable as poly because i remember our #1 player breaking 2 sets of it in a match but it was definitely more durable than synthetic gut. now that i found this stuff again i must admit i'm tempted to get a set and string it up for "old times' sake".
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
One of the kids on my high school team in the mid-80’s had a Yonex R-10 with graphite string. We all called it the Darth Vader racquet!

Moving forward to the early 1990’s, there were a lot of weird string options. Prince Prism and Stoplight spring to mind...
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
Fascinating thread, thanks @beltsman

We used to get our rackets restrung at a mom and pop sporting good store in the late 60s early 70s. I don't know the brand but I never saw anything but blue spiral or gold spiral. There must have been a price difference because I always had blue spiral and the "swells" had gold spiral:)

I just ordered a bunch of different 18 & 17g syn gut the other day. I am wanting some playable "durable" comfort in my 93 and 95" 18x20s and have given up on even thin poly x nat gut/syn gut as I stare down 70 yrs on the horizon.
 
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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Fascinating thread, thanks @beltsman

We used to get our rackets restrung at a mom and pop sporting good store in the late 60s early 70s. I don't know the brand but I never saw anything but blue spiral or gold spiral. There must have been a price difference because I always had blue spiral and the "swells" had gold spiral:)

I just ordered a bunch of different 18 & 17g syn gut the other day. I am wanting some playable "durable" comfort in my 93 and 95" 18x20s and have given up on even thin poly x nat gut/syn gut as I stare down 70 yrs on the horizon.
What tension for your racquets?
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
What tension for your racquets?
I am experimenting between 48-53lbs. I almost had an "ah hah!" moment the other day. I thought the 19g poly x 18g SG was working good for me. Fickle me, hitting with a good rec player, former competitive badminton and volleyball player, who picked up tennis 10 yrs ago. Only 40 yrs old fit and fast, 6'1". I switched to another Volkl Tour 10 Mid strung witih 16L Genesis Blizzard at 53lbs and thought, "Heck, I like this even better than the "costly" thin hybrid.

I'm getting the thin syn gut because I have always thought syn gut plays well enough, but it too can "die off" quickly, even before breaking for certain players. If I could find a good fit for me syn gut that would break before dying off in less than 5 hrs for $2-5/set I would be happy.
 

vandre

Hall of Fame
I was usually using psg in ‘90. Was prince topspin around then? I didn’t like either, but my parents didn’t feel like shelling out for technifibre every two weeks.
i don't know about 90 for sure but i had a set of prince topspin in one of my sticks around 94
 
First strings I used were clear with blue stripe, probably nylon in 15g. Then went to Leoina 66. Bought an Ashe Comp in 75 and they recommended a multi, so it was Vantage and Vantage II for that guy. Then, I found a string called Steelon. It was a clear/blue nylon with a very noticeable wire wrap in it. Felt good. Then, Leoina came out with 77, a 16g version of their 66 (15g). I even tried some of Rayco's cord-feeling synthetic. I ordered a couple of Max Ply Forte's, and they came with Dunlop natural gut. Now that I look back, all those manufacturers had me hooked on strings before I finished college. A string junkie.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
First strings I used were clear with blue stripe, probably nylon in 15g. Then went to Leoina 66. Bought an Ashe Comp in 75 and they recommended a multi, so it was Vantage and Vantage II for that guy. Then, I found a string called Steelon. It was a clear/blue nylon with a very noticeable wire wrap in it. Felt good. Then, Leoina came out with 77, a 16g version of their 66 (15g). I even tried some of Rayco's cord-feeling synthetic. I ordered a couple of Max Ply Forte's, and they came with Dunlop natural gut. Now that I look back, all those manufacturers had me hooked on strings before I finished college. A string junkie.
1st racquet was a Maxply Fort with Victor Imperial NG. All strings were 1/2 price with a new racquet. Switched to Africord till the mid 80s
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
1st racquet was a Maxply Fort with Victor Imperial NG. All strings were 1/2 price with a new racquet. Switched to Africord till the mid 80s
I have a display shelf next to my stringing machine and on it I display an unopened set of Victor Imperial a friend gave me a few years ago.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
First strings I used were clear with blue stripe, probably nylon in 15g. Then went to Leoina 66. Bought an Ashe Comp in 75 and they recommended a multi, so it was Vantage and Vantage II for that guy. Then, I found a string called Steelon. It was a clear/blue nylon with a very noticeable wire wrap in it. Felt good. Then, Leoina came out with 77, a 16g version of their 66 (15g). I even tried some of Rayco's cord-feeling synthetic. I ordered a couple of Max Ply Forte's, and they came with Dunlop natural gut. Now that I look back, all those manufacturers had me hooked on strings before I finished college. A string junkie.
"Tournament Nylon" was our generic term for the basic spiral nylons of the '60s and '70s...Wilson marketed it as "International Nylon". About as basic as could be. The Bancroft guy sold us an alternative to Leoina Sheep 66, touting the benefits of 'sheep oil impregnation'(I'll remember the name as soon as I get off the computer ;) ). We got away from Vantage and Vantage II, even though we used plenty of strings from Victor/Davis. Blue Star clobbered the Vantage-type multis in our shop.
RAYCO!!! Strung a BUNCH of Blue Ray!!! Supposed to be a counter to Blue Star; but it was essentially a 'tournament nylon', AFAIK.
Used to love the red Africord in my Red Head Pro!..AFV when I could afford it.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
I have a display shelf next to my stringing machine and on it I display an unopened set of Victor Imperial a friend gave me a few years ago.
What's the length? 33' ??
We used a boatload of strings that came in 22' x 11' in the early days!! Even some 28' sets!!
 

onehandbh

Legend
I broke strings about every 5-7 days when I was a junior. I used Leoina 66. Not my favorite string but it was cheap.

I preferred Prince Topspin and Gamma strings.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
"Tournament Nylon" was our generic term for the basic spiral nylons of the '60s and '70s...Wilson marketed it as "International Nylon". About as basic as could be. The Bancroft guy sold us an alternative to Leoina Sheep 66, touting the benefits of 'sheep oil impregnation'(I'll remember the name as soon as I get off the computer ;) ). We got away from Vantage and Vantage II, even though we used plenty of strings from Victor/Davis. Blue Star clobbered the Vantage-type multis in our shop.
RAYCO!!! Strung a BUNCH of Blue Ray!!! Supposed to be a counter to Blue Star; but it was essentially a 'tournament nylon', AFAIK.
Used to love the red Africord in my Red Head Pro!..AFV when I could afford it.
Remember oil-filled nylon? Shattered in cold temps
 

Plainsman83

New User
Great thread! As a junior in the 70's and 80's I also broke tons of strings so by default most of the strings I used tended to be of the cheaper variety. I did use Vantage and Leoina 66 for a while, but mostly good old Prince Synthetic Gut on a reel was the default string, especially once my parents concluded it was cheaper to buy me a modest table top machine (a Tremont with the twist handle which remarkably I still have but haven't used in 30 years) and have me string my own. Prior to that, there was a college kid in town who started a business that for a period of time did mass stringing for Head prestrung racquets. He would string my racquets for cheap using all manner of oddball cheap strings. One memorable one was something called Hi-Wire that had metal wire wrapped as part of the multi-filament. My memory of that stuff was all the little cuts and puncture wounds on my hands from adjusting strings or brushing across the string bed during play. Kind of like swearing that once you could afford it you would no longer drink cheap beer, I also decided that I would no longer play with cheap crap strings. I think I paid almost 40 bucks yesterday for a string job with the latest Technifibre miracle wonder hybrid. Maybe it is time to break out the Tremont again.:):)
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
Remember oil-filled nylon? Shattered in cold temps
Strung a fair number of the Head Oil Filled nylon. Had to consider which end of the string to start with as the cut end would leak oil all over the place. More one-piece stringing when given the option. Silly little metal plugs were used to "plug" the ends of the string.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I remember being careful to keep the 36' sets separate to use on the rackets that required that length. Still had plenty of 33' sets on hand(and eventually bought more at a discount when "everybody" went to the longer lengths.
When did you finally get a reel of NG?
 

McLovin

Legend
Thanks for the info. Used Forten Thin Blend BITD. Kevlar always seemed to lose tension fast
I used Thin Blend for a bit. Actually I bought a reel of the mains, which is a Kevlar composite, and used gut crosses.

Then I found Gamma Extreme Spin 19, and used it until it was discontinued ~ 2005 (actually used it for a few more years as I bought up all the remaining packs on the web).
 
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