Debate of the Year: Pro vs. Con Vibration Dampener on your Tennis Racquet - Pick a Side!

TW Staff

Administrator

Vibration dampeners are pointless! Change my mind! In this episode, we debate a fun topic: VIBRATION DAMPENERS! Do you swear by them and love the sound with them when they are installed in your racquet or do you prefer to hear the ball hit your strings sans-damp?! Join Chris and Mark while they debate each side of this topic, while both grew up with the Agassi-style rubber band damp in their strings, one playtesters swears by using a damp while the other says, "ditch it!"

Where do you stand? Are you a die-hard dampener player or do you prefer nothing touching your strings?! Let us know!

Happy Hitting (with...or without a dampener)!
 
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NTB-MTL

New User
I use to have the " Sampras Tourna dampener", but now only use the "Nadal style dampener" it will never flying out of my stick again :)
 
By stick you mean tennis racket, right? Just confirming.
Yes by "stick" I was referring to a tennis racket--this is a tennis message board and "stick" is a commonly used slang term for a tennis racket--maybe u are confusing this with a porn site.
U need a woman real bad!--your posts are always full of sexual innuendos--are u married? Have a nice day.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Yes by "stick" I was referring to a tennis racket--this is a tennis message board and "stick" is a commonly used slang term for a tennis racket--maybe u are confusing this with a porn site.
U need a woman real bad!--your posts are always full of sexual innuendos--are u married? Have a nice day.
I am OK with you expressing yourself creatively with any kind of stick, racket or otherwise.
 

USMC-615

Rookie
Put 'em all the way around the inside perimeter of my stick...directs that round, fuzzy yellow thing right into the middle. Sucks it in like a Death Star tractor beam...no more mishits and bad vibrations!
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Supposedly, string dampeners make no difference other than lowering the frequency of the impact sound, but many people claim that they reduce arm shock and provide more control. Likely just all in their head.
 
According to tennis dampener "science" the dampener only effects the strings in the immediate area they are attached to. I can't say I consciously hear the string sounds off my racket or my opponent's--I'm may be aware of the sound of the hit on a sub-conscious level. I'm paying conscious attention to watching the ball and it's type of spin. Dampeners are just a fun thing for me as a form of expression or something I'll give to friends like a wine or beer glass damp.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
According to tennis dampener "science" the dampener only effects the strings in the immediate area they are attached to. I can't say I consciously hear the string sounds off my racket or my opponent's--I'm may be aware of the sound of the hit on a sub-conscious level. I'm paying conscious attention to watching the ball and it's type of spin. Dampeners are just a fun thing for me as a form of expression or something I'll give to friends like a wine or beer glass damp.
I can distinctly hear the high-pitched ping that comes from my racket or even that of my opponent without a string dampener. In fact, I once asked my opponent if his dampener had fallen off and I was right. The regular impact sound may be filtered out of the conscious mind over time, but the dampener-less sound sticks out.
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
I use them with some racquet/string combos, but not others. And within those combos I have different dampeners that provide various levels of damping.

But the bigger question is:

Who else feels the need to match their dampener brand with their racquet brand?
 

Slicehand

Semi-Pro
I prefer not to use it , my blade v7 is specially good without it, but in other raquets, i always prefer the feel without it, its true that in some raquets the noise bothers a bit, but i guess once you get used to it i doesnt anymore, for feel i definetly prefer without
 

Rosstour

Legend
Supposedly, string dampeners make no difference other than lowering the frequency of the impact sound, but many people claim that they reduce arm shock and provide more control. Likely just all in their head.
This is so ridiculous I don't even know where to start.

What causes sound?

Vibration.

If the sound changes, the vibration has changed. I can't even believe we're still talking about this.
 

socallefty

Legend
The frequency of the vibration has a lot to do with the impact and potential damage to the arm - high frequencies just create noise and lower frequencies get transmitted to the arm as impact shock which affects feel and potential injury risk.

Read the science.

 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
This is so ridiculous I don't even know where to start.

What causes sound?

Vibration.

If the sound changes, the vibration has changed. I can't even believe we're still talking about this.
We are talking about whether the change is significant enough to affect play.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The frequency of the vibration has a lot to do with the impact and potential damage to the arm - high frequencies just create noise and lower frequencies get transmitted to the arm as impact shock which affects feel and potential injury risk.

Read the science.

The vibration dampening technology they are talking about is probably not string dampeners but the myriad other "comfort" and "shock-reducing" technologies claimed by manufacturers.
 

ngoster

Rookie
I can't play without a dampener. The pinging sound is as distracting as someone dragging their nails down a chalkboard. It's distracting even when the sound comes from my partner's racquet.
 

socallefty

Legend
The vibration dampening technology they are talking about is probably not string dampeners but the myriad other "comfort" and "shock-reducing" technologies claimed by manufacturers.
I guess you did not read the article. They do make the distinction early and say that string dampeners only reduce high frequency noise. Most of the article is about other vibration dampening that is used to dampen low frequency vibrations that cause impact shock.
 

Yamin

Professional
I use a rubber band. Clash's and Blade's from this gen all have some vibration through the handle with certain strings. It is much less pronounced once it reaches my hand with the rubber band on.

That's all the "science" I need.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I guess you did not read the article. They do make the distinction early and say that string dampeners only reduce high frequency noise. Most of the article is about other vibration dampening that is used to dampen low frequency vibrations that cause impact shock.
OK I see the issue. I read "The frequency of the vibration has a lot to do with the impact and potential damage to the arm" as referring to the frequencies filtered out of hearing range by a string dampener and commented that it probably has no effect in reducing arm shock, while you were making a comment about frequencies in general.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Interesting.

"In conclusion, this work has demonstrated that the damper has effects on the frequency response that go beyond a simple noise reduction or as an aesthetically pleasing addition to the racket"
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/fig1_226965575
 

stockboy

New User
Interesting.

"In conclusion, this work has demonstrated that the damper has effects on the frequency response that go beyond a simple noise reduction or as an aesthetically pleasing addition to the racket"
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/fig1_226965575
"The damper shifts the first string-bed mode to a frequency below this mode, leaving the third bending mode barely visible in the vibration spectra"

In their summary, their finding was the dampener changes the noise by shifting the frequency curves from higher to lower. And if you look at the the graphs, it actually does reduce the overall amplitude (noise level). So I don't know what exactly they mean by "beyond" noise reduction, aside from the obvious.

I for one can feel the difference in vibration with and without dampeners in my arm. Plus the noise is pretty annoying without the dampener. I haven't tried power pads though, might do that in the next string job.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
Dampers/dampeners quiet string noise but as the science shows it does nothing for actual shock. The best damper/dampener that actually neutralizes shock is probably silicone in the handle.

I used to be a die-hard in terms of using a dampener but my use varied depending on the string and racquet I was using. Eventually, I moved away from dampeners altogether.
 
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Power pads > damper. They perform every function a dampener does but better, lengthen your mains (desirable trait), and make the racquet look better instead of cheapening the aesthetic. Why would I want anything on my stringbed, let alone a cheap piece of plastic?
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
First

It's a damper.

... since 'dampen' means 'to moisten', a dampener would be a ... wet sponge.

To 'damp' is to reduce oscillatolion, so the thing that does that is a 'damper.'

Now y'all know.

/Acey
 

socallefty

Legend
First

It's a damper.

... since 'dampen' means 'to moisten', a dampener would be a ... wet sponge.

To 'damp' is to reduce oscillatolion, so the thing that does that is a 'damper.'

Now y'all know.

/Acey
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
When I started playing tennis, the sound of gut or synthetics hitting the ball was quite pleasant.
Now with most poly's, it sounds like I am dropping a violin on to the bathroom floor by comparison. I use a rubber band to tone out that noise. It also seems to improve the feel a little bit.
Some of the more flexible poly's aren't as grating. TB soft almost makes a decent noise.
I imagine folks that have learned the sport along with this sound are less bothered.
 
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JustTennis76

Professional
I am not against dampeners, the only reason I was using them is to reduce the ping noise from the strings. I then realized, I can accomplish the same thing with a rubber band which weighs less than a gram and I accomplish the same thing. These days I only use rubber bands and it also gives a cool retro look.
 

gold325

Rookie
Pingy & Rickety Sounding Rackets & Strings Combos - Dampener
Solid Pillowy Sounding Rackets & Strings Combos - No Dampener
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@sovertennis
This is so ridiculous I don't even know where to start.

What causes sound?

Vibration.

If the sound changes, the vibration has changed. I can't even believe we're still talking about this.
It is worth talking about.

Frame shock and string vibration are 2 very different things. String dampers (or dampeners, if you will) will lower the amplitude and, often, the frequency content of the string vibrations / sound. However, they do not have enough mass to have any appreciable effect on frame shock.

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
That might be the Cambridge dictionary definition but it is not the physics / scientific definition. Damper & Damping are the proper terms.

 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I hated the ping sound so much. Used a rubber band then Sampras dampeners. Now I have gone for over a year with no damp and I love it. More ball feel to me. Also the ping always is there when I warmup, but after a little while I stop hearing it. So it takes a little adjustment, but IMO is well worth it.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
I never use them. I want the popping sound from my shots to be as loud as possible to intimidate my opponents.
 
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