Going from polyester to multifilament strings, how much tension to add?

Brando

Rookie
If switching from poly to multifilament strings, is there a rule of thumb about how much tension to add to achieve somewhat the same 'feel' off the string bed? I say 'add' because conventional wisdom is that multis are inherently more flexible and resilient, and so, more powerful than polys. So one would naturally add tension to a multi string bed to preserve the 'deader' feel of the poly. Of course that specific # will change depending on the specific poly vs. multi. But what I'm looking for is an 'all other things being equal' number, if it exists.
 
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Brando

Rookie
OK, i think I'm gonna close my own thread here, but I'm glad I opened it because I can't be the only one asking this question. Here's the answer from TW's Vlog 'What Tension Should I String my Tennis Racquet At?'. What it essentially says is that if you're switching from poly to a multifilament, to achieve an analogous amount of power-to-control the multi should be 4 lbs. tighter (or if switching visa versa, the poly 4 lbs. looser):

 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
It depends on the multi. If I were going to X1 or NRG2 I would automatically go up 4lbs or so. If it was Multifeel I might keep the same tension, depending racket, pattern, skill level and spin vs flatter hitter.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
It depends on the multi. If I were going to X1 or NRG2 I would automatically go up 4lbs or so. If it was Multifeel I might keep the same tension, depending racket, pattern, skill level and spin vs flatter hitter.
I generally agree with this, though I admittedly have no experience with Poly at all, just NXT and Velocity.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I admittedly have no experience with Poly at all, just NXT and Velocity.
If I were advising a tension on NXT it would be 57lbs to start and with Velocity maybe 2lbs less. I have experience with both of these recently with other players as well as myself. However, personally I am not a fan of expensive multis. I am experimenting with Prince Premier Control, Velocity and Multifeel as they are moderately priced multis and all appear to be lower powered while providing enough spin without locking up in 30 minutes.
 

socallefty

Legend
55-58 lbs is a good range for most multis on many racquets. I don’t know what you were stringing your poly at, but if you liked poly in the low fifties, you could even try the multi at 60 lbs. I think a 8-10 lb difference might be good if you don’t want to lose too much control when you move to the multi.
 

Brando

Rookie
It depends on the multi. If I were going to X1 or NRG2 I would automatically go up 4lbs or so. If it was Multifeel I might keep the same tension, depending racket, pattern, skill level and spin vs flatter hitter.
Wow, that's a keen bit of intel. As it turns out, the switch is indeed to MultiFeel 16g [blue]. (To answer sociallefty's implied question, the frame is a newly acquired Head Gravity Pro strung at 53 lbs. with Technifibre Black Code 16g.). The player is a tennis buddy in his mid-thirties with a 4.5-level power & depth-oriented game (heavy balls more topspun than flat). For all his skill, he didn't quite get how quickly polys loose their elasticity, and why, after 10 or so sets, so many shots were flying out. Now that he knows, he wants to make the switch. My initial thinking was that he string the MultiFeels at 56 lbs. What do you guys think?

And do tell, what makes the MultiFeel so different from the other Multis? I ask not skeptically but because MultiFeels are the only multi I've ever tried. From day-one, they felt so soft yet controllable that I've never bothered for anything else. So I'm super-curious to know why they shouldn't be strung as tight as other multifilaments...?
 
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golden chicken

Hall of Fame
NXT, X1, and NRG are considered to be powerful multis. I used NXT to give my Tour 90 the power it needs to go along with the control the frame provides. I tried Velocity in my Tour 90 and I can barely hit the ball beyond the service line with the same swing that would land the ball close to the baseline using NXT.

Multifeel, Velocity, and Prince Premier Control are considered to be low powered multis. I use Velocity in my 6.1 95 because the frame is powerful and I need the string to provide the control. I tried NXT in my 6.1 95 and it was uncontrollably powerful--I was hitting the back fence on the fly.
 

Brando

Rookie
More great intel, golden chicken! You're reminding me of what someone once told me was the 'First Rule' in strings: that they should counter-balance a frame's natural characteristics. And since the Gravity Pro is a power frame, it deserves control strings like the MuliFeel. Got it. That also suggests the reason they can be strung looser than more power-oriented strings. Interesting.
 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
what makes the MultiFeel so different from the other Multis?
I only tried Multifeel after some poster here on TT said that the blue and pink play differently (better?) than the black or natural. Something about the dye providing a different feel than the black and natural. I had to see for myself. Lo and behold they played pretty darn good for me. I had tried all the premium polys at one time or another in a cornucopia of rackets. I have a Prince NEOS 1000 and several dozens of rackets so I am always experimenting with strings just to see what all the talk is about. I switched 3 other good over 60 players from poly to Multifeel and they all like it.

Other than that I think @golden chicken 's comments are quite accurate. The racket plays a part for sure, as does the player.

Two other players who are 70 and 80, but crack some nice flat shots, really liked NXT when I strung that for them cutting out the poly they were using. The 70 yr old uses a PK 7G and the 80yr old uses some recent Babolat 100", I forget which model.

I have a group of 93" - 95" rackets from 18x20 to 14x18 I like to fiddle with too. String makes a difference in each of those. I am also enjoying Multifeel in a group of Head Rad OS's that span from Bumble Bee to the more recent models. I just snagged a couple of decent Babolat Pure Storm GTs to go with my Pure Storm 95 LTD GT+. The first string I will try in them well be Multifeel. I picked up a few sets of Velocity and Prince Premier Control to test out again as well. I am sort of bummed about Technifibre not selling pink and blue Multifeel any longer in the US. I grabbed the last reel of 16g pink Multifeel that I could find for sale in the US. I hope the black and natural play similar to the pink and blue Multifeel.
 

Brando

Rookie
WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?!!! No more pink or blue MuliFeel in the US? But that's what I use, exclusively! I had no idea! I bought 5 sets just a couple months ago with no idea they'd be the last! Shiita! FYI, I did try the natural version not so long ago and my impression was that they frayed far faster than the pinks (my go-to string). Here's hoping my impression was wrong. I am seriously bummed...

Do tell if you think the Head Velocity MLTs stack up to the MultiFeels, as it looks like they're the only control-oriented multi that comes dyed in any assortment of colors. If the colored dyes indeed make a difference in durability and feel, I'd dig knowing if they're worth a try.
 
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esgee48

G.O.A.T.
@graycrait - if you ever decide to try natural multifeel, you may want to string it a little tighter [1-2#] then blue or pink. It will stretch less than the blue/pink because there is no dye. If you decide to use black, decrease the tension because the black dye has a tendency to make the string stretch the most. Due to this, I would probably opt for the natural because the black has less resilience.
 

Brando

Rookie
That's some impressively specific info, @esgee48 ! Will go with the naturals then. Still, you're making me miss the pinks/blues all the more. If I have you right, you're basically confirming they were the best versions of these strings, both in resilience and durability. Any suggestions for $10 alternatives? Have you tried any of the Head Velocity colors? If so, how did you think they performed?

P.S. When I tried the natural version of the MultiFeels they DID seem to loosen up faster than the pinks. I thought it my imagination but now your intel suggests it wasn't. More are my thanks you're weighing in.
 
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esgee48

G.O.A.T.
I am OCD (according to Da GF, it is more than one area! :alien:] Dyes interfere with the amorphous/semi crystaline structures of the polymers. The more dyes, the worse the structure, the more the string will stretch. This is a general statement, but I have found it to be very true for SG/Nylons. Multis are still SG, just with thinner fibers. At the dawn of the Velocity thread, I have tested Velocity 16 in natural and black. This holds for Velocity. Black stretches more and results in a firmer stringbed.
 

Brando

Rookie
You may be OCD @esgee48 , but to me you're psychic because I was just trying to wrap my head around the physics you were laying down, and what you just said clears up most of my confusion.

One more question: It seems intuitive that the more a string stretches, the looser the stringbed will become, and so the tighter you'll initially want to string it. How do I have this wrong? Given your obvious expertise, I'm sure I'm wrong; I just don't know why. 'Mind lending me one more lesson? Am I confusing 'stretch' with elasticity?
 
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esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Elasticity is how well the string returns to normal after ball impacts. Plasticity is how badly the string stretches with each ball impact. TWU says that strings have only so much total elasticity because of the 'plasticity.' At the end of string life, there is no more plastic flow because you cannot hit the ball hard enough to stretch it. The worst component is Static Tension losses which is when the strings lose tension sitting in your bag. This stops when string tension = force required to stretch the string permanently. However, there is still Static loss stored in the string which shows itself in very quick loss of DT during the 1st hitting session.

More stretching during stringing results in a firmer stringbed because you are removing more static tension losses. Less stretching during stringing removes less static tension loss resulting in a looser stringbed. You can control how much stretching you want by using ref tension. The stringbed will lose very little tension once off the stringer and sitting in your bag.

With my original reply, I said use a higher ref tension when going with Natural because it will not stretch as much as Blue or Pink at the same ref tension. There is more residual static tension losses still in the Natural. And those losses come out during the 1st session of hitting, which results in the feeling of quick loosening of the stringbed. By using a higher ref tension, you hopefully pull out that remaining static losses still in the string and that gives you the desired DT. BTW, this applies only if you are using CP and not a LO. With LO, it also depends on how fast you crank to LO because it is how much you remove during the tensioning. HTH.

With Black, because it stretches more during stringing, you need to use a lower ref tension. However it becomes more complicated because there is more residual static losses. There are various options to get around this, but the easiest way is to lower tension, use the prestretch function or pull for longer period. FWIW, I always try to use Natural because it is less complicated.
 

morten

Hall of Fame
NXT, X1, and NRG are considered to be powerful multis. I used NXT to give my Tour 90 the power it needs to go along with the control the frame provides. I tried Velocity in my Tour 90 and I can barely hit the ball beyond the service line with the same swing that would land the ball close to the baseline using NXT.

Multifeel, Velocity, and Prince Premier Control are considered to be low powered multis. I use Velocity in my 6.1 95 because the frame is powerful and I need the string to provide the control. I tried NXT in my 6.1 95 and it was uncontrollably powerful--I was hitting the back fence on the fly.
How about Triax here..? Compare the Velocity, Triax and Multifeel please...
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
How about Triax here..? Compare the Velocity, Triax and Multifeel please...
I personally couldn't tell you, but I did watch the video of how Triax is made, and I'm not sure I would personally have a use for it.

A polyester string has two things going for it: very low string to string friction, and monofilament construction. This combination gives you spin and durability, but polyester is less elastic than nylon, for example, so it is stiffer, lower powered, and it goes dead after some time unless it breaks.

A multifilament string is many strands encased in a sheath. Usually the sheath is made of polyurethane and sometimes given a surface coating that reduces friction. The many strands are usually made of something rather elastic, like nylon, so multis are softer, more powerful, and don't tend to have that major drop in performance after a while, rather, it's sort of a slow decline. Unfortunately, big hitters tend to quickly wear off any low friction coatings and break through the polyurethane sheath, which exposes the inner strands and tends to lock up the stringbed, limiting spin potential.

Triax is a multifilament that includes strands of polyester, but it is still encased in a polyurethane sheath. So, as I see it, you have the downside of a multi locking up combined with the downside of some of the string going dead after a time without the upside of power of a traditional multi, or spin from a poly.

But, again, I have 0 experience with Triax myself.
 

Folsom_Stringer_Musa

Professional
If I were advising a tension on NXT it would be 57lbs to start and with Velocity maybe 2lbs less. I have experience with both of these recently with other players as well as myself. However, personally I am not a fan of expensive multis. I am experimenting with Prince Premier Control, Velocity and Multifeel as they are moderately priced multis and all appear to be lower powered while providing enough spin without locking up in 30 minutes.
57-58lb sounds about right for high power multis like X1/NRG2
You have to go lower with control oriented multis.
 

Folsom_Stringer_Musa

Professional
Unfortunately, big hitters tend to quickly wear off any low friction coatings and break through the polyurethane sheath, which exposes the inner strands and tends to lock up the stringbed, limiting spin potential.
Very true.
Another guy here had opinion that cross has virtually no impact on spin potential.
Spin potential is the ratio of String to String friction and String to Ball friction.
Once the cross prevents mains to move freely (loss of coating e.g.), you will have much higher String to String friction which will lower the spin potential considered everything else remaining the same.
 

Brando

Rookie
Elasticity is how well the string returns to normal after ball impacts. Plasticity is how badly the string stretches with each ball impact. TWU says that strings have only so much total elasticity because of the 'plasticity.' At the end of string life, there is no more plastic flow because you cannot hit the ball hard enough to stretch it. The worst component is Static Tension losses which is when the strings lose tension sitting in your bag. This stops when string tension = force required to stretch the string permanently. However, there is still Static loss stored in the string which shows itself in very quick loss of DT during the 1st hitting session.

More stretching during stringing results in a firmer stringbed because you are removing more static tension losses. Less stretching during stringing removes less static tension loss resulting in a looser stringbed. You can control how much stretching you want by using ref tension. The stringbed will lose very little tension once off the stringer and sitting in your bag.

With my original reply, I said use a higher ref tension when going with Natural because it will not stretch as much as Blue or Pink at the same ref tension. There is more residual static tension losses still in the Natural. And those losses come out during the 1st session of hitting, which results in the feeling of quick loosening of the stringbed. By using a higher ref tension, you hopefully pull out that remaining static losses still in the string and that gives you the desired DT. BTW, this applies only if you are using CP and not a LO. With LO, it also depends on how fast you crank to LO because it is how much you remove during the tensioning. HTH.

With Black, because it stretches more during stringing, you need to use a lower ref tension. However it becomes more complicated because there is more residual static losses. There are various options to get around this, but the easiest way is to lower tension, use the prestretch function or pull for longer period. FWIW, I always try to use Natural because it is less complicated.
Jumpin' Jiminny, @esgee48 ! I was hoping for an answer and received a treatise on string physics! Technical yet absolutely digestible, it was a lesson sandwich on the first read. So deliciously precise, I had to read it again! OK, I thot u some kind of an expert but obvi you're a 'someone' in this realm. And @graycrait , @golden chicken & @morten too? Cripes, I stumbled into a den of gurus. Lucky me--lucky us, whomever's fortunate enough to catch this ignorantly-begat li'l thread...
 
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Brando

Rookie
That may be so, but too few engineers would be able to explain it so concisely to a layman. (While too many GFs know how to put their BFs in their place! ... but then we head-scratchers tend to invite critique--Gah!)
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Wow, that's a keen bit of intel. As it turns out, the switch is indeed to MultiFeel 16g [blue]. (To answer sociallefty's implied question, the frame is a newly acquired Head Gravity Pro strung at 53 lbs. with Technifibre Black Code 16g.). The player is a tennis buddy in his mid-thirties with a 4.5-level power & depth-oriented game (heavy balls more topspun than flat). For all his skill, he didn't quite get how quickly polys loose their elasticity, and why, after 10 or so sets, so many shots were flying out. Now that he knows, he wants to make the switch. My initial thinking was that he string the MultiFeels at 56 lbs. What do you guys think?

And do tell, what makes the MultiFeel so different from the other Multis? I ask not skeptically but because MultiFeels are the only multi I've ever tried. From day-one, they felt so soft yet controllable that I've never bothered for anything else. So I'm super-curious to know why they shouldn't be strung as tight as other multifilaments...?
I think it's an issue of managing expectations for your buddy....
10 sets = 10 hours... how many hours does he expect poly strings to last if hitting heavy topspin ball?
He's probably going to break any multi / multi hybrid in ~2-3h max at the 4.5 level with topspin....

There's no panacea... he needs to pick one...
- restring any poly every 8-10h
- go multi and restring every 2-3h
- go guy/poly and restring crosses only every 8-10h - maybe get 15-20h out of the gut mains with constant tension maintenance
- starting messing around with different frames/string patterns/hitting flatter to save strings... (not suggested)
 

Brando

Rookie
Great suggestions, @FIRETennis . And, @Folsom_Stringer_Musa , you're prolly right too. Indeed these are likely the very reasons he's never tried multis. But since I gave him a free stringset, all he has to lose is the strigning fee. Afterwards, I'll post here how many sets they last. I have a suspicion those multis may last longer than you think, even as I'm always prepared to be proven wrong.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
Great suggestions, @FIRETennis . And, @Folsom_Stringer_Musa , you're prolly right too. Indeed these are likely the very reasons he's never tried multis. But since I gave him a free stringset, all he has to lose is the strigning fee. Afterwards, I'll post here how many sets they last. I have a suspicion those multis may last longer than you think, even as I'm always prepared to be proven wrong.
Keep us posted with the results!
 

AKB

New User
WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?!!! No more pink or blue MuliFeel in the US? But that's what I use, exclusively! I had no idea! I bought 5 sets just a couple months ago with no idea they'd be the last! Shiita! FYI, I did try the natural version not so long ago and my impression was that they frayed far faster than the pinks (my go-to string). Here's hoping my impression was wrong. I am seriously bummed...

Do tell if you think the Head Velocity MLTs stack up to the MultiFeels, as it looks like they're the only control-oriented multi that comes dyed in any assortment of colors. If the colored dyes indeed make a difference in durability and feel, I'd dig knowing if they're worth a try.
You are spot on about natural fraying quicker...quicker is an understatement. Pink will hold for a full day of play depending on skill level. Natural, with topspin is about 30 minutes.
 

Louis33

Semi-Pro
@graycrait - if you ever decide to try natural multifeel, you may want to string it a little tighter [1-2#] then blue or pink. It will stretch less than the blue/pink because there is no dye. If you decide to use black, decrease the tension because the black dye has a tendency to make the string stretch the most. Due to this, I would probably opt for the natural because the black has less resilience.
You seem to have a lot of experience with multifeel. I play multi/poly with head velocity natural 17g for my main and I am wanting to experiment with other strings. From looking through old posts and TW data and review it seems the black multifeel is slicker and I believe one poster described the natural multifeel as “gummy.” I am looking for a slicker multi that keeps it snapback so I ordered a set of the black multifeel 17g to try. I was just curious if that was your experience comparing the black to natural?
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
You seem to have a lot of experience with multifeel. I play multi/poly with head velocity natural 17g for my main and I am wanting to experiment with other strings. From looking through old posts and TW data and review it seems the black multifeel is slicker and I believe one poster described the natural multifeel as “gummy.” I am looking for a slicker multi that keeps it snapback so I ordered a set of the black multifeel 17g to try. I was just curious if that was your experience comparing the black to natural?
I'd love to hear your thoughts velocity vs multifeel when you have a chance.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
IME, Multifeel is not as slick as Velocity, whether Black or Natural. IIRC, Multifeel is the successor to the older TF 515 and that was 'gummy' too. If you want a slick multifiber string, you need to get one that is described to have a decent coating. NXT OS, NXT Control, Prince Premiere Control and Velocity are some of the ones I tried having decent spin. So does FXP from Head. Problem is the coating does not last. Gosen's AK is on my list of-to-try when I get around to it. However, I may not because few of non-poly clients use multis. When they do, they want Prince, Head or Wilson.
 

Louis33

Semi-Pro
I'd love to hear your thoughts velocity vs multifeel when you have a chance.
Ok will do. I string velocity anywhere from 55-60 lbs with Kirschbaum max power crosses at 48 lbs. I will string both up in the next couple weeks at 55 lbs for a fair comparison. I will also be comparing them with Tecnifibre HDMX.
 

Louis33

Semi-Pro
IME, Multifeel is not as slick as Velocity, whether Black or Natural. IIRC, Multifeel is the successor to the older TF 515 and that was 'gummy' too. If you want a slick multifiber string, you need to get one that is described to have a decent coating. NXT OS, NXT Control, Prince Premiere Control and Velocity are some of the ones I tried having decent spin. So does FXP from Head. Problem is the coating does not last. Gosen's AK is on my list of-to-try when I get around to it. However, I may not because few of non-poly clients use multis. When they do, they want Prince, Head or Wilson.
I have played Gosen AK Pro CX in the past as a main string with poly crosses and remember it being similar to velocity but playing a tad crisper. I still have a pack left I can do a direct comparison of it with velocity.
 

Brando

Rookie
You are spot on about natural fraying quicker...quicker is an understatement. Pink will hold for a full day of play depending on skill level. Natural, with topspin is about 30 minutes.
Our impressions that MultiFeel naturals are less durable than the pinks, flies in the face of @esgee48 's string physics intel above. @esgee48 , mind weighing in? Are we off on this, or might there be countervailing factors (vs. dye's damaging effect) that make pinks last longer: like friction between slicker strings &/or the lighter dye causing minimal damage?
 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
@golden chicken , I strung a pair of 98" 16x20 Babolat Pure Storm GTs (both weighing around 11.6oz), one with 16g blue Velocity, the other with pink 16g Multifeel, both at 55lbs, fullbed with a Wise on a NEOS 1000. They play essentially the same in the first 2 hrs. Rain and cold has taken over so no further evaluation.

I am also stringing other rackets of mine with blue or pink 16g Multifeel, 15L PPC, 16g PPC, and blue Velocity. Mostly in 95" 18x20 rackets, but also in a 100" 16x19 Graphene 360 Extreme Pro. Generally all these have been strung with these multis between 48-55lbs. Additionally, I have 16g multis strung in several Head RAD OS rackets including: Bumble Bee (blue 16g MF), Candy Cane (pink 16g MF, Ti (pink 16g MF), LM (black 16g PPC), YT IG (16g blue Velocity) and MG (x2 blue 16g MF). I have 6 or 7 other rackets strung with either pink or blue 16g MF and a couple of with 16g Black PPC.

I am satisfied what these relatively lower powered multis are giving me in rackets for the most part having relatively dense patterns in the center. In more open pattern 100-107 with 16x19 I like Ash Kev x ZX better and lasts longer too. I like Ash Kev x ZX over multis in my Chang Ti LBs 95" 14x18s.
 

408tennisguy

Semi-Pro
Picked up a pack of 16G blue multifeel from my local shop and wanted to try it before it is no longer available. ive been dealing with golfers elbow and wanted to see what all the fuss is about for the blue color( reading that its more durable and crisper than the natural). i usually string about 50/48lbs in my Prince 100x 305G with full poly. any advice on what to string this up at to acheive the same type of pocketing?
 

408tennisguy

Semi-Pro
Picked up a pack of 16G blue multifeel from my local shop and wanted to try it before it is no longer available. ive been dealing with golfers elbow and wanted to see what all the fuss is about for the blue color( reading that its more durable and crisper than the natural). i usually string about 50/48lbs in my Prince 100x 305G with full poly. any advice on what to string this up at to acheive the same type of pocketing?
will be doing a soft poly main and this Multifeel as a cross
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Wow, that's a keen bit of intel. As it turns out, the switch is indeed to MultiFeel 16g [blue]. (To answer sociallefty's implied question, the frame is a newly acquired Head Gravity Pro strung at 53 lbs. with Technifibre Black Code 16g.). The player is a tennis buddy in his mid-thirties with a 4.5-level power & depth-oriented game (heavy balls more topspun than flat). For all his skill, he didn't quite get how quickly polys loose their elasticity, and why, after 10 or so sets, so many shots were flying out. Now that he knows, he wants to make the switch. My initial thinking was that he string the MultiFeels at 56 lbs. What do you guys think?

And do tell, what makes the MultiFeel so different from the other Multis? I ask not skeptically but because MultiFeels are the only multi I've ever tried. From day-one, they felt so soft yet controllable that I've never bothered for anything else. So I'm super-curious to know why they shouldn't be strung as tight as other multifilaments...?
I can't remember whether I tried a set of Multifeel a while back, but I think that a couple of multi's including this one are constructed with a tiny solid core and lots of microfibers on top of that. The tiny core gives the string just a little more backbone compared with another that is 100% tiny fibers, but there's still a lot of that multi softness that we expect with that sort of string.

The multi I keep on hand at home for string jobs that call for that string type is 16 ga. Prince Premier Control. This one also has a tiny "triple core" instead of having a makeup of all those tiny filaments. I rather like this string because it's relatively affordable in a reel and it seems to resist turning too soft over the course of its service life - some other multis I've tried would steadily degrade on me and turn too soft to be of any further use. PPC also brings a decent dose of softness that we expect from any multi. Another less expensive multi that has earned a lot of decent feedback here lately is Head Velocity MLT, but I haven't sampled this one yet.

The jump from a poly to a multi is a substantial move from the stiffer end of the string spectrum to the softer end, but natural gut is still the king among soft and "arm-friendly" strings. Multifibers are really good for some folks who benefit from the inherent softness of those strings compared with stiffer options and they don't cost as much as sets of natural gut. That being said, some multis are way too pricey for me given their limited service life. One great example of this for me is Tecnifibre's X-One Biphase. Wonderful plush string, but it's a little on the fragile side and TW is selling if for $20 per set... and that's on sale.

If your pal wants to crank on the ball from the baseline without the performance of his string beds falling off a cliff too quickly, he's probably looking at some sort of tradeoff. Poly is rather durable in terms of not physically snapping as fast as softer strings, but all of them "go dead" after several hours - some polys hang on just a little better than others. Among the locals I string for, it seems that the players who use a poly hybrid combining a poly main with a softer cross of multi or syn. gut can see a more gradual descent in the performance of their string setups. The poly still goes dead, but the more resilient crosses make rounding the bend a bit more gentle.

I'm a big fan of synthetic gut. It's significantly softer than typical polys yet more crisp and firm feeling than lots of multis. I've always liked that sort of "punchy" feedback from my strings, but I can't handle a setup that's rock hard (my arm can't tolerate poly). Syn. gut is also nicely affordable. It might last a bit longer than a multi of the same gauge - that will vary a LOT depending on what examples are being compared - but because it's rather cheap, it's no great financial penalty to replace it when it snaps.

Prince SG w/Duraflex and Gosen OG Sheep Micro are stiffer examples from this family, but Prince Original SG, Volkl Classic, and Kirschbaum (my personal favorite) are among the SG offerings with a little more comfort. Not very exotic among the string options out there, but for anybody who isn't really murdering the ball like an NCAA Div-I wannabe, syn. gut can be worth a try.
 

Brando

Rookie
Thanks so much for the savvy advice, @fuzz nation ! First off, you remember it rightly; MultiFeel has a thin poly core. And your suggestion to try a syn gut is genius. Since TWU research found the Gosen OG Sheep Micro to, surprisingly, be the most tension-maintaining string in its extensive study, I've long been curious to try it for myself. And you just put me over the top. Do you think it worth maybe trying 17g as well as 16g (his and my normal gauge) since its so durable and stiff? And if so, how much looser should one initially string a 17g syn-gut to approximate the feel of its 16g version?

Wait, I think a 2006 post from the great @travlerajm may have just answered my last question. It's a remarkable answer so I share it here (and please excuse that i don't yet know how to bring the text of--vs. a link to-- a quote from one thread to another):
 
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MikhailT

Rookie
@golden chicken , I strung a pair of 98" 16x20 Babolat Pure Storm GTs (both weighing around 11.6oz), one with 16g blue Velocity, the other with pink 16g Multifeel, both at 55lbs, fullbed with a Wise on a NEOS 1000. They play essentially the same in the first 2 hrs. Rain and cold has taken over so no further evaluation.

I am also stringing other rackets of mine with blue or pink 16g Multifeel, 15L PPC, 16g PPC, and blue Velocity. Mostly in 95" 18x20 rackets, but also in a 100" 16x19 Graphene 360 Extreme Pro. Generally all these have been strung with these multis between 48-55lbs. Additionally, I have 16g multis strung in several Head RAD OS rackets including: Bumble Bee (blue 16g MF), Candy Cane (pink 16g MF, Ti (pink 16g MF), LM (black 16g PPC), YT IG (16g blue Velocity) and MG (x2 blue 16g MF). I have 6 or 7 other rackets strung with either pink or blue 16g MF and a couple of with 16g Black PPC.

I am satisfied what these relatively lower powered multis are giving me in rackets for the most part having relatively dense patterns in the center. In more open pattern 100-107 with 16x19 I like Ash Kev x ZX better and lasts longer too. I like Ash Kev x ZX over multis in my Chang Ti LBs 95" 14x18s.
Since you play multis in different racquets, do you find that the string durability is more affected by the string spacing in the centre or rather overall stringbed density?
For example, assuming the same headsize, I guess multi will last longer in 18x20 than in 16x19 with 6 mains in the throat. But will be 16x19 with 8 mains be closer to the former or the latter in terms of durability?
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Thanks so much for the savvy advice, @fuzz nation ! First off, you remember it rightly; MultiFeel has a thin poly core. And your suggestion to try a syn gut is genius. Since TWU research found the Gosen OG Sheep Micro to, surprisingly, be the most tension-maintaining string in its extensive study, I've long been curious to try it for myself. And you just put me over the top. Do you think it worth maybe trying 17g as well as 16g (his and my normal gauge) since its so durable and stiff? And if so, how much looser should one initially string a 17g syn-gut to approximate the feel of its 16g version?

Wait, I think a 2006 post from the great @travlerajm may have just answered my last question. It's a remarkable answer so I share it here (and please excuse that i don't yet know how to bring the text of--vs. a link to-- a quote from one thread to another):
I often prefer 17 ga. syn. gut in my own frames, but I suppose that can depend on the season. When it gets pretty hot outside in the middle of the summer, a 16 ga. syn. gut can be better because it doesn't seem to turn as soft in the warmer temps. That... and my mood might change from one week to another.

Gosen OGSM 16 has been a great cross string in many of the poly hybrids I've done for locals who use me for stringing. It's relatively tough and also rather slippery, but it's also a relatively stiff syn. gut and a full bed of the 16 ga. can feel pretty clunky, especially compared with Kirschbaum's SG. But I realized last summer that I also had a reel of OGSM 17 in my stash and decided to give that a try at lower tension. It's working nicely for me in my Volkl C10's at 53 lbs. - those frames would typically feel right for me with a softer 17 ga. SG tensioned up at 57-58 lbs. in the summer. OGSM 17 at that higher tension in my racquet feels like a string bed of thin metal wire.

Getting a feel that's somewhere in the neighborhood of a bed of Multifeel could be a tough ask with the OGSM, but perhaps drop a few lbs. and see what it does for you. I've appreciated that the OGSM 17 has been nicely durable compared with some other 17 ga. syn. guts I've used lately, but it certainly isn't bullet-proof. And since I string at home, I'd only object to a string that would only last me an hour or two. Since the options in the syn. gut family are rather affordable, you might want to try two or three different options to see if one of them has a better personality for you.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Our impressions that MultiFeel naturals are less durable than the pinks, flies in the face of @esgee48 's string physics intel above. @esgee48 , mind weighing in? Are we off on this, or might there be countervailing factors (vs. dye's damaging effect) that make pinks last longer: like friction between slicker strings &/or the lighter dye causing minimal damage?
I compared Multifeel to Velocity. And the coating on Velocity is more durable than Multifeel. If comparing durability between colors, then we are speaking about a different animal than than mere stretching. I use primarilty white POSG, but I also have yellow POSG. I cannot tell any difference in durability because I break both strings within 16 hours, depending on whom I hit with. But they are both solid core. When I trial strings, I mainly use natural because I I want the feel and playability of the string to be unaffected by dyes. If you want to know why colored strings may be more durable, I can offer only a hypothesis. Stretching is a form of work hardening. The more the stretch, the more the strands/molecular structures align. Unfortunatey, stretching also thins out any coating which is a countervailing effect on durability. Now for what may be happening with dyes. The darker the color, the more likely the chemical additive is a larger molecule. It has to be to absorb more of the light spectrum. It is this which makes strings stretch more when tensioned. Depending on the amount of dye in the formulation, they could very well be exposed as the string wears. When exposed, they have to be worn off and this is why the durability may be longer. It's a guess since I do not like to use colored strings in my personal frames.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
But will be 16x19 with 8 mains be closer to the former or the latter in terms of durability?
I never gave durability of multis much thought. Most of my non OS rackets are 95-93" 18x20s. I do have a pair of Graphene 360 Extreme Pro 100" 16x19's, one strung with Multifeel and the other Ash Kev x ZX.

If a multi stringbed lasts me two - four weeks I am a happy camper. If not then that means I really like that racket and have not been switching rackets much. Arm safety wise poly lasts <12hrs so if I get more than that from a multi that is a good thing.

@esgee48 , I too have found that Velocity is "slicker" than Multifeel. I think Velocity will eventually become the multi I use the most. As immature as it may sound, Velocity comes in a number of colors rather than just natural and black. I'm also fooling around with PPC, but PPC seems to be a distant 3rd when compared to Velocity and Multifeel.

@fuzz nation , I have a friend who absolutely loves OGSM 16g in his IRad 98 18x20 strung at 45lbs. Mainly because of his tension preference I started to lower tension on some of my rackets and found I like it. I have several rackets I have not found the right string for and was about to take them to Goodwill because they are so "lifeless" to me. I cut out the string and strung multis in them at lower tensions. The rackets are: PS 6.1 Stretch 95" 18x20, Pure Control 95+ 18x20, Dunlop Aerogel 2hundred 95" 18x20 and ROK 93 18x20. The weather is not cooperating right now.
 

Brando

Rookie
I often prefer 17 ga. syn. gut in my own frames, but I suppose that can depend on the season. When it gets pretty hot outside in the middle of the summer, a 16 ga. syn. gut can be better because it doesn't seem to turn as soft in the warmer temps. That... and my mood might change from one week to another.

Gosen OGSM 16 has been a great cross string in many of the poly hybrids I've done for locals who use me for stringing. It's relatively tough and also rather slippery, but it's also a relatively stiff syn. gut and a full bed of the 16 ga. can feel pretty clunky, especially compared with Kirschbaum's SG. But I realized last summer that I also had a reel of OGSM 17 in my stash and decided to give that a try at lower tension. It's working nicely for me in my Volkl C10's at 53 lbs. - those frames would typically feel right for me with a softer 17 ga. SG tensioned up at 57-58 lbs. in the summer. OGSM 17 at that higher tension in my racquet feels like a string bed of thin metal wire.

Getting a feel that's somewhere in the neighborhood of a bed of Multifeel could be a tough ask with the OGSM, but perhaps drop a few lbs. and see what it does for you. I've appreciated that the OGSM 17 has been nicely durable compared with some other 17 ga. syn. guts I've used lately, but it certainly isn't bullet-proof. And since I string at home, I'd only object to a string that would only last me an hour or two. Since the options in the syn. gut family are rather affordable, you might want to try two or three different options to see if one of them has a better personality for you.
That temperature intel is gold. Thanks again @fuzz nation -- for all of it! Who knew? Triangulating your intel with @travlerajm 's, if I try pairing 16&17g OGSMs then I'd start with 16g mains @ 55# and 17g crosses @ 50# (i.e. 10% looser to account for its being 10% thinner). Of course I'll initially try a full bed of 16g OGSM natural at 55# to see how they feel vs. the full bed of MultiFeel 16g naturals I currently have @ 55.

You say that getting the OGSMs to feel like MultiFeels is a tough ask. Statistically, the strings are virtually identical in energy return (92 vs 91%), spin potential (3.4 vs 3.3) and tension loss (21%). Only stiffness, is different: 183 vs 155 lb./in., and even there I'd think that extra 15% would only make the OGSMs more durably elastic than the MultiFeels. My impression from your comment, tho, is that's not the case in terms of actual feel. Am I missing something here? Is it that syn gut, or particularly this one (vs. the Kirschbaum SG) simply won't provide the same 'pop' as a soft multi (and that's why u suggest dropping a few pounds in the OGSM tension)?
 

Brando

Rookie
I compared Multifeel to Velocity. And the coating on Velocity is more durable than Multifeel. If comparing durability between colors, then we are speaking about a different animal than than mere stretching. I use primarilty white POSG, but I also have yellow POSG. I cannot tell any difference in durability because I break both strings within 16 hours, depending on whom I hit with. But they are both solid core. When I trial strings, I mainly use natural because I I want the feel and playability of the string to be unaffected by dyes. If you want to know why colored strings may be more durable, I can offer only a hypothesis. Stretching is a form of work hardening. The more the stretch, the more the strands/molecular structures align. Unfortunatey, stretching also thins out any coating which is a countervailing effect on durability. Now for what may be happening with dyes. The darker the color, the more likely the chemical additive is a larger molecule. It has to be to absorb more of the light spectrum. It is this which makes strings stretch more when tensioned. Depending on the amount of dye in the formulation, they could very well be exposed as the string wears. When exposed, they have to be worn off and this is why the durability may be longer. It's a guess since I do not like to use colored strings in my personal frames.
OK, count me guilty of inferring apples from oranges. But I'm not sad I did it because your answer's too fascinating, that hypothesis in particular. What you're saying, if I have it right, is that the darker the dye the larger its molecular structures (the ‘tell’ being that it absorbs more light). And this coating might form a barrier to wear that more than counteracts the dye's (presumably acidic?) damage to a string's structural integrity. So a dye’s molecular structure might, in the end, make a string more durable despite causing more stretching.

Assuming this, I wonder if it might explain the conventional wisdom that black strings are the least durable while lighter colors (like reds, pinks and yellows) are the most durable, leaving naturals somewhere in the middle. Maybe the concentrated chemical damage from the black dye outweighs the protective effect of its molecularly thicker coating. But a lighter color might cause less chemical damage, such that its coating renders the string more durable, after all. If I'm mixing apples and oranges again I apologize, but a good hypothesis begs a corollary...
 
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fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
That temperature intel is gold. Thanks again @fuzz nation -- for all of it! Who knew? Triangulating your intel with @travlerajm 's, if I try pairing 16&17g OGSMs then I'd start with 16g mains @ 55# and 17g crosses @ 50# (i.e. 10% looser to account for its being 10% thinner). Of course I'll initially try a full bed of 16g OGSM natural at 55# to see how they feel vs. the full bed of MultiFeel 16g naturals I currently have @ 55.

You say that getting the OGSMs to feel like MultiFeels is a tough ask. Statistically, the strings are virtually identical in energy return (92 vs 91%), spin potential (3.4 vs 3.3) and tension loss (21%). Only stiffness, is different: 183 vs 155 lb./in., and even there I'd think that extra 15% would only make the OGSMs more durably elastic than the MultiFeels. My impression from your comment, tho, is that's not the case in terms of actual feel. Am I missing something here? Is it that syn gut, or particularly this one (vs. the Kirschbaum SG) simply won't provide the same 'pop' as a soft multi (and that's why u suggest dropping a few pounds in the OGSM tension)?
Although I haven't played the Multifeel in my own frames - at least in recent history - I'd expect it to play and feel more or less like a multifiber. It's probably rather cushy at moderate tension and probably not too crisp or snappy feeling at contact. Whenever I've tried 16 ga. OGSM, it has been noticeably firm feeling and also seemed to be not especially resilient. I haven't tried it tensioned down in the 40's in either of the 98" models I play, but I may have to try that when it gets warmer in the late spring.

I respect the numbers you've found for those strings for sure and I'm pretty much offering up my own anecdotal findings with nothing empirical to back it up. What's considered to be decent feel from one player to the next is hard to predict, since we all like what we like. To get a measure of the soft feel that you or your pal find with Multifeel when you try the Gosen in the same gauge, I'd be willing to bet a nickel that you'd need to tension the OGSM at least 3-5 lbs. lower that what feels right with the multi. Whatever initial tension you go with will give you a reference to work from going forward. If the first try is a miss, you should be able to adjust that for round two so that it's closer to where it works.
 

AceyMan

Professional
So,

in my experience, firm "players" tension in multis is a (computed) DT 36, while for the average poly it's DT 31.

In a 100 in² 16x19 frame

DT31 => 23,6 / 22, 7 kg

DT 36 => 26,4 / 25,3 kg

A websearch on "tennis tension calculator" should return useful results so you can see what your particular hoops numbers are.

/Acey

Notes:
ambient temperature affects the string response markedly and every string is different, so these median values may change dependent on the local conditions.

personally, I use the Stringway online tension advisor, but the USRSA and other resources also provide their own calculators.
 
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Brando

Rookie
Although I haven't played the Multifeel in my own frames - at least in recent history - I'd expect it to play and feel more or less like a multifiber. It's probably rather cushy at moderate tension and probably not too crisp or snappy feeling at contact. Whenever I've tried 16 ga. OGSM, it has been noticeably firm feeling and also seemed to be not especially resilient. I haven't tried it tensioned down in the 40's in either of the 98" models I play, but I may have to try that when it gets warmer in the late spring.

I respect the numbers you've found for those strings for sure and I'm pretty much offering up my own anecdotal findings with nothing empirical to back it up. What's considered to be decent feel from one player to the next is hard to predict, since we all like what we like. To get a measure of the soft feel that you or your pal find with Multifeel when you try the Gosen in the same gauge, I'd be willing to bet a nickel that you'd need to tension the OGSM at least 3-5 lbs. lower that what feels right with the multi. Whatever initial tension you go with will give you a reference to work from going forward. If the first try is a miss, you should be able to adjust that for round two so that it's closer to where it works.
@fuzz nation , the saying goes, 'Don't ask an expert if yer not gonna listen.' So I'll take that nickel bet, string up the OGSM naturals 4 lbs. looser than my MulitFeel setup, and report back in the Spring. Maybe not so coincidentally, @AceyMan 's reference to the Stringway online tension advisor contains a treatise on String Elongation that might explain your instinctual advice statistically correct. [And @AceyMan -- a database so good it uses hoop dimensions to recommend different cross tensions from mains? I didn't know such existed!]

Per the Stringway pdf on it, OGSM's (actually average) 183 stiffness vs. MutiFeel's 155 has more effect on tension than I thought, particularly via 'remaining elongation' left after stringing. MultiFeel's is 1.4% while OGSM's is 0.8%. This means OGSM loses about half the tension MultiFeel does from initial play. So starting 3-5# looser sounds about right. I still won't expect MultiFeel's cushiness, but I have a feeling I might find the kind of heavier ball I've been missing with multifilaments. Either way, the exploration is half the fun... and thanks for the compass, guys.
 
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Brando

Rookie
@fuzz nation , I said I'd report back about how went my switch from Multifeel strings at 55 lbs. to stringing OGSM naturals 3-5 lbs. looser in a Technifibre Tfight 300 XTC. But first I have to confess that I strung the Sheep Micros only a pound looser because I wanted to feel the difference between a multifilament and syn gut at basically the same tension. And, man, do I loooove the switch to nylon! It felt too lively at first but settled in nicely with an effective tension that’s lasted far longer than Multifeel, the greater stiffness paying off. Serving is my best yet. And as long as I lean in, groundies land in deeper than expected. Given the wandering strings, I can’t believe the control. All to say thanks for the sage advice about going syn gut. I'll never go back!
 
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