Does lower tension in crosses matter?

Jay Sean

New User
I have had the thought that it doesn't because pulling the crosses through the mains already demands more tension than the mains strung alone. As in, there's much more friction involved when pulling the crosses through, which I figured must take up some of the force needed to pull the strings to tension.

I get the theory, that less lbs is to compensate for less distance between the frame on cross section but considering this makes me think it might already work out that way naturally.

What do you guys do or notice or think?
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
It probably depends on the string types involved and the frame. All else being equal, on my 93P using full bed multi, I noticed increased trampoline and less control. It does make the overall string bed feel softer, but so would lowering the tension uniformly for both mains and crosses. I think Yonex is the only manufacturer that recommends lower crosses due to the square head shape.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Depends on too many factors imo, the drilling spacing of the cross holes, string type used on main or crosses, head size. I think the only way to find out and string it with many tensions and try
 

Mike Lambresi

New User
Cool thread.
I get that on hybrids it makes sense having higher tensions on gut for example.
But I'm curious if it makes a difference on full of bed poly, as we see players doing both.
 

Jay Sean

New User
Cool thread.
I get that on hybrids it makes sense having higher tensions on gut for example.
But I'm curious if it makes a difference on full of bed poly, as we see players doing both.
The idea is to make up for the difference in length of string. Top to bottom is longer so a string over a longer distance will have more elasticity. Less tension in crosses is supposed to even that out.
 

Mike Lambresi

New User
The reason for using a lower tension on the crosses is to reduce friction on the mains to allow the mains to deflect and snap back more easily for better spin and higher launch angle.
That's what I thought.
I might try dropping the tension by 1kg on the crosses on my Blade like Goffin does to see if it makes a difference.
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
@Jay Sean
I got to see the difference first hand
strung 1x head.radical with syngut 56/56lbs
strung 1x head.radical with syngut 56/54lbs

after just a few minutes of hitting through out a set, I notised that the 56/56 raket strings, started to get stuck out of place,
the 56/54 raket, stayed straight longer and started to show similar string movement, and get stuck out of place a day latter
 

BlueB

Legend
It's been tried with many, much larger, tension differentials, 10lbs, 20lbs and more...

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

Jay Sean

New User
The reason for using a lower tension on the crosses is to reduce friction on the mains to allow the mains to deflect and snap back more easily for better spin and higher launch angle.
Ah, that would be a result for sure. I hear such things as "opening up the sweet spot" but I think the idea that the relative length is shorter and therefore the tension should be is logical too. Although it shouldn't be exactly relative to the distance, right? I might try that sometime anyway. Like a 52/44 hybrid tension or something. I usually drop 2/3lbs on the crosses only. Sometimes none.
 

BlueB

Legend
What do you know about the results of that testing?
I played gut/poly at 20lbs diff and poly/poly at 10lbs. It's comfortable and lots of top spin. Eventually, I dropped diff to 10 and 5 respectively, to keep the launch angle lower and a bit more control.

Few other players tried even more, search it up.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

Muppet

Legend
Ah, that would be a result for sure. I hear such things as "opening up the sweet spot" but I think the idea that the relative length is shorter and therefore the tension should be is logical too. Although it shouldn't be exactly relative to the distance, right? I might try that sometime anyway. Like a 52/44 hybrid tension or something. I usually drop 2/3lbs on the crosses only. Sometimes none.
My take on crosses vs. mains tensions is that the manufacturer designed the racquet to work properly at even tensions. When we change something like tension differentials and modifications, we are not necessarily improving the racquet and often times we are compromising it.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
My take on crosses vs. mains tensions is that the manufacturer designed the racquet to work properly at even tensions. When we change something like tension differentials and modifications, we are not necessarily improving the racquet and often times we are compromising it.
Do you have proof of this? They give a range of tensions but i've never seen a racquet manufacturer specify all tensions must be equal.
String setups these days can be incredibly different based on the type of string material that I can't imagine manufacturers have stringent rules about mains and crosses being equal tension.

I play a lot with Gut/poly and have tried numerous differentials and find most racquets only play better once the poly tension drops 6-10 lbs below the gut mains. Especially low powered players frames.
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
@Muppet @Dartagnan64
rules of tension "imo", have gone out the window when combos/hybrids came into the picture,,
i use the manufacturer suggested tension range as a starting guide,,
most of the times with FB polys, i am outside the low end of the recommended range
typically, the only time I find myself within the range of the racquet manufacturer suggestion, is when I deal with FB synt.gut
when dealing with nat.gut and/or multis, I go high,
 

Muppet

Legend
Do you have proof of this? They give a range of tensions but i've never seen a racquet manufacturer specify all tensions must be equal.
String setups these days can be incredibly different based on the type of string material that I can't imagine manufacturers have stringent rules about mains and crosses being equal tension.

I play a lot with Gut/poly and have tried numerous differentials and find most racquets only play better once the poly tension drops 6-10 lbs below the gut mains. Especially low powered players frames.
You want me to prove something to you?
 

Muppet

Legend
Furthermore, if we find ourselves making lots of, or drastic, modifications to our racquets, we may be better off with a racquet that plays as intended in stock form. As for me, 5 of my 6 racquets are pushing the limit of how heavy a racquet I can swing. The sixth one is fun for playing around with modifications. My 5 racquets are between 344g and 348g. 345g is optimal. The light one hovers around 330g.

I like to use hybrids and tension differentials frequently, but I'm aware that there's a trade-off each time that I may not be aware of.
 

Kevo

Legend
There's lots of reasons that seem to make sense why you would want to string the crosses a different tension than the mains. Many of which were mentioned in this thread.

One that I never used to consider, but it also adds some weight to the crosses lower argument, is that stringing the crosses actually raises the tension in the mains. So by stringing the mains and crosses at the same tension you are actually creating a mains higher differential in the resulting stringbed.

I have started string my frames with the mains around 12lbs higher than the crosses. So far I'm liking it a lot and I think I've just about dialed in the best tension for me after about 4 stringings. I'll need to go through another couple of frames to be sure, but I plan on sticking with it.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
I hope more people use SM to share out their experience. Most people share their experience from hitting the sticks.

What I observed is that when you string cross at a lower tension, the main tension actually will become lower as well. It is the combination of both main and cross tension to create the final tension.

I have in the past, on Kevlar/ZX or poly, re-pulled ZX and poly cross. The Kevlar would be at about 11 lbs, by itself, like loose ropes. Pulling the cross to about 50 lb brought the main tension to about 40 lbs. Played quite good actually.
 

Jay Sean

New User
SM? What is that?

And I strung at 51/47 the other time and it feels loads better than 54/52. Using a very dead poly.

But you are right, crosses increase tension of mains as well. You could almost argue that it is worth dropping tension of the crosses only if a bed is too stiff.
 

Jay Sean

New User
I hope more people use SM to share out their experience. Most people share their experience from hitting the sticks.

What I observed is that when you string cross at a lower tension, the main tension actually will become lower as well. It is the combination of both main and cross tension to create the final tension.

I have in the past, on Kevlar/ZX or poly, re-pulled ZX and poly cross. The Kevlar would be at about 11 lbs, by itself, like loose ropes. Pulling the cross to about 50 lb brought the main tension to about 40 lbs. Played quite good actually.
Right, because crosses already increase tension of the mains. I'm going to start playing with bigger differences in tension. I like the idea of a very dead poly with significantly lower cross tension. Might allow strings to move even more but still have excellent snap back since cross tension is looser relatively.

We shall see. I don't hear much about crosses being different tension except just only about 2-3lbs. Never more.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Can you have more tension differential? Yes. Kevlar/ZX groupie does 20 lbs to start. Do not even mention if differential hurt a racket. Don't start.

For strung string bed, whether you have differential or not, the main will typically have significantly higher tension than cross strings. If you lower cross tension, main tension will also drop. The result is lowered both main and cross tension. But practically yes, the cross seems to slide easier. But the cross also tend to not move back.
 

Jay Sean

New User
Can you have more tension differential? Yes. Kevlar/ZX groupie does 20 lbs to start. Do not even mention if differential hurt a racket. Don't start.

For strung string bed, whether you have differential or not, the main will typically have significantly higher tension than cross strings. If you lower cross tension, main tension will also drop. The result is lowered both main and cross tension. But practically yes, the cross seems to slide easier. But the cross also tend to not move back.
You mean mains? Or crosses.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Restate: Lowering cross tension would decrease both main and cross tension, according to my SM observation.

In practice, lowering cross tension does seem to allow the main to slide back easier. But at the same time, cross seems to get stuck out of position more.

Even without a SM, you can observe which is looser by simply putting a straight edge, such as a credit card, over the string bed. Kind of like plucking a guitar string except you pluck the whole edge. Do it parallel to main, then parallel to cross strings. Whichever gets caught is the one that moves up and down more, meaning the loose one. Typically people want the cross looser so the main would be straighter and cross more up and down.
 
I play a lot with Gut/poly and have tried numerous differentials and find most racquets only play better once the poly tension drops 6-10 lbs below the gut mains. Especially low powered players frames.
Agreed, I generally string poly/poly or poly/multi and on average string the crosses in my racquets 6 pounds less than the mains.
 
Top