Gosen Nanocubic Review

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Masamusou, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Masamusou

    Masamusou Semi-Pro

    Apr 4, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    First some background. I play an all court game, generally stay more at the baseline until I get a good opportunity to get to net when returning, with more of a tendency to charge the net when serving. I will serve and volley around 30-40% of the time as well. I prefer to be up at the net, but recently I’ve been having more match success from the baseline so I’ve been sticking with that game more than I would like. I hit with a semi-western forehand most of the time, and usually a two handed backhand with a one handed slice but I will also hit some one-handed topspin backhands too. I hit with moderate topspin off both sides with the backhand being a bit flatter. I rely more on feel. I usually hit serves with different spins instead of hitting flat serves. Most of the time I will hit kick serves on both serves with the occasional twist and slice serves as well.

    This string as well as two others (Prince Lightning 16 and Gosen AK Speed 16) was strung on June 23rd at 51.5 pounds using constant pull without prestretch on the Wise 2086. This was the same day it started giving me errors, so I have no confidence that it was strung at the set tension though, so for simplification, I will assume it was. The racquet set up is a Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine Midsize with the following specs: 369g, 32.5cm balance (~5.6 points headlight) with a swingweight of 360 kg*cm^2. I prefer a crisp feeling stringbed while not being stiff. The multifilaments I tried all felt too mushy but my attempts at using poly (Kirschbaum Competition, Poly Polar, and Cyber Flash) all didn’t have the feel I was looking for. These strings were attempted as full jobs, and hybrids with the poly in the mains and the crosses but I have not found one that I like. So far, the best string for me has been Alpha Viper MXT 16, but it breaks after about 3 hours, so my current hope is to find something that feels like the Viper but that will last me at least 6-8 hours.

    Stringing: The string is an odd sort of light brownish color. It doesn’t have much of a coating on it, but it still strings up extremely easily. There is little friction to deal with when installing the crosses. Not much harder than your basic synthetic to install. The Parnell knot cinches up easily just like it always does. Don’t know how a normal double half-hitch knot would work because I haven’t used one in about 4 years. I imagine it would cinch up just as easily as a normal PSGD or Gosen OG Micro. The tip can get a little mushy occasionally, but nothing like multis or gut. My frame has the small plastic dividers, but I didn’t have to use any pliers to push the string through any of the holes down at the throat like I sometimes have to.

    Power: About as I expected, more powerful than a basic synthetic but not as powerful as say X-one Biphase. The power level is comparable to the Lightning XX string with a slight edge going to the Nanocubic. In general it is a step up in power from the poly hybrids I’ve been using, but by no means a powerful string. It is a bit deceptive because the sound it gives off of a well struck shot has a loud and crisp sounding pop that sounds like the ball was hit harder than it really was.

    Control: I believe this is what this string was designed for. It has incredibly good control during rallies. It seems to lose a bit of control when having to supply all of the pace, but most of that was me simply overhitting. In a good rally this string will consistently put the ball where you hit it. It won’t surprise you with a hot spot and suddenly launch the ball a foot or two over the baseline. If you hit the ball well, this string will reward you for it.

    Net/Feel: From the net it hits crisp deep volleys, which are not my favorite shots to hit. I prefer to hit the sharp angles and drop volleys, but this string appears more suited to bashers. The feel of the strings leaves a little to be desired as far as controlling drop shots and touch volleys, but it seems more suitable for an attacking baseliner than a touchy-feely all-courter. I can still hit the drop shots well enough, but it doesn’t give me the ridiculous feel shots that I can get with some other strings.

    Serve: Again, no surprises from this string. If the serve is hit well, it will do exactly what it is expected to do. It generates a nice amount of spin on topspin and kick serves, but is not going to suddenly add 10mph to anyone’s serve. I will generally manage only a few aces every now and then, which is about what I’m doing with this string so no surprises. All of the aces have been slight slice serves up the T on the deuce side. My second serve does have a slightly improved percentage recently, but that has more to do with the fact that I’m playing a little more regularly and hitting more serves. I’ve been attempting some serve and volley, but more often I’m getting passed when I try it, so I’ve been staying back more. Most of the problem is that the serves don’t quite have the necessary kick to get up and out of my opponent’s comfort zone as I’ve been serving recently. I’ll admit that this is mostly just laziness on my part.

    Durability: The Nanocubic lasts slightly longer than the Alpha Viper. I played 1 set with it (~45 minutes), then 2 more sets and another half hour of hitting (~2 hours), then another 2 hour hitting session with another player. So in all I have put about 6 hours on the Nanocubic. Unfortunately, after about 5.5 hours, the playability has pretty much completely gone and the string feels mushy and lifeless. While the strings have just started notching, they are pretty much useless now that the playability is gone. Personally I would prefer the strings to break around the 5 hour mark that constantly have to cut out strings that at least visually appear to be in good shape.

    Conclusion: I'm not really sure what type of player these are designed for. They provide a decent crisp feel and seem to play better from the baseline. I would guess that they are designed for the baseliner that wants a crisp feel but can't use poly. The strings are comfortable, but I'm not exactly sure what the goal was. I don't feel that they provide enough feel for an all-courter or serve and volleyer, but they seem to be decent strings for a baseliner looking for some comfort. I still have another 3 sets of it to test out some more, probably in some different hybrid set ups, but for the moment, I'm going to use my current setups and hope that they last for awhile.
  2. volleyman

    volleyman Semi-Pro

    Aug 13, 2004
    Durham, NC
    Nice review, thanks.
  3. TennisProPaul

    TennisProPaul Banned

    Jun 18, 2006
    why cant we all write reviews like that?

    ohh yeah

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