I’m doing something very wrong! But what?

#1
The situation which I'm going to describe below happens ALWAYS, since I can remember! Please HELP me! I’m doing something very wrong! But what?

That’s the main problem:

I buy only used rackets.
Every time I purchase a new (used) racket I play with it a few matches with the strings which already has. And it plays perfect! And me too!

When the strings going off and I decide to strung them, I really ruin them!
They play so bad that usually I sell them asap….

Lately I buy old rackets only.
Now I have a racket with 20 years old (original) strings on it (yes, is not a typo, twenty years old strings) and it plays better than my second piece of the same model which I have strung few days ago…

Additional info you may need:

- In these long period I have use 3-4 different stringers.
So, the problem can’t be the stringer.

- In these long period I have use at least 15 different strings, most of them with very positive reviews. So, the problem can’t be a particular string.

- Many times (when I can read the string brand and size) I try to “copy” the excising setup which plays nice. Of course I have to guess the tension. No luck with this either...

- I play recreational, only 5-6 times a month. So the period between each racquet restringing is not so close and of course I don’t want to string, hit a hour, re-string, hit a hour, re-string etc

- I have 5 racquets at the moment, so I almost strung one every month.

It’s really crazy to play better with 20y old strings!
I’m doing something very wrong! But what?
Please give me a point how to stop this craziness….
 
#3
My best guess is that the 20 year old strings are significantly looser, maybe 50% looser, than when originally stung. They would also be "deader"; you would perceive less power that with new strings that loose. Perhaps you like the low power dead feel? If that's the case, you might want to try a restring with dead from the factory strings. Something like Kevlar mains strung fairly loose, +/- 35lbs, with some poly crosses might be to your liking.
 
#4
Invest $5 in Racquet Tune, the iOS or Android app. The iOS version has better/more features. Measure/est the existing tension in the frame you bought. That will give you some idea what ref tension you want with the new string job. Use the same string type and gauge. I would think that the existing strings are probably around 35#. FWIW, if your stringer has a pre-stretch button, tell him to use 15-20%. This will deaden the new strings.
 
#5
Perhaps your honeymoon period coincide with the original string's remaining life and by the time you restring your honeymoon is over.
 

BlueB

Hall of Fame
#6
The situation which I'm going to describe below happens ALWAYS, since I can remember! Please HELP me! I’m doing something very wrong! But what?

That’s the main problem:

I buy only used rackets.
Every time I purchase a new (used) racket I play with it a few matches with the strings which already has. And it plays perfect! And me too!

When the strings going off and I decide to strung them, I really ruin them!
They play so bad that usually I sell them asap….

Lately I buy old rackets only.
Now I have a racket with 20 years old (original) strings on it (yes, is not a typo, twenty years old strings) and it plays better than my second piece of the same model which I have strung few days ago…

Additional info you may need:

- In these long period I have use 3-4 different stringers.
So, the problem can’t be the stringer.

- In these long period I have use at least 15 different strings, most of them with very positive reviews. So, the problem can’t be a particular string.

- Many times (when I can read the string brand and size) I try to “copy” the excising setup which plays nice. Of course I have to guess the tension. No luck with this either...

- I play recreational, only 5-6 times a month. So the period between each racquet restringing is not so close and of course I don’t want to string, hit a hour, re-string, hit a hour, re-string etc

- I have 5 racquets at the moment, so I almost strung one every month.

It’s really crazy to play better with 20y old strings!
I’m doing something very wrong! But what?
Please give me a point how to stop this craziness….
You seem to like the locked (no string movement) string beds. Old strings are almost inevitably notched and locked. It gives a bit harsher feel, but a lot of precision and predictability. Lower launch angle too.
There is no way to replicate it, though. The closest thing would be to string tighter then you think it would be required.

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#7
You seem to like the locked (no string movement) string beds. Old strings are almost inevitably notched and locked. It gives a bit harsher feel, but a lot of precision and predictability. Lower launch angle too.
There is no way to replicate it, though. The closest thing would be to string tighter then you think it would be required.
This locking never seems to happen to me. Synthetic, multi, kevlar... they move like crazy and continue to do so until they break.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
#8
I recently hit with someone that moved into the area. He showed me one of his old racquets that he uses and was hitting fine. Then I let him hit with one of my racquets and he was sending the ball into the fence. I took a look at it was some old dead poly. I told him that's probably why he was able to keep the ball under control because it was dead and no power.

He would have to look at new strings that would provide low power to match what he was used to playing with.
 
#9
I told him that's probably why he was able to keep the ball under control because it was dead and no power.
Dead poly may lack the power but it also lacks feel, and the lack of feel equals lack of control in my equation. I've always thought that feel is a critical ingredient of string in terms of control. If poly benefits control by being dead, people would't opt for fresh strings.
 
#10
Poly behaves erratically due to tension loss. It does not snap back the same way as a new string job when imparting spin. OTOH, a pre-stretched polyester string job like 4G is already dead, but behaves normally because it is still under tension and hasn't suffer the drastic tension loss yet. The lack of feel to your hand may be the lack of symmetric cupping/snap back in the string bed.
 
#11
Poly behaves erratically due to tension loss. It does not snap back the same way as a new string job when imparting spin. OTOH, a pre-stretched polyester string job like 4G is already dead, but behaves normally because it is still under tension and hasn't suffer the drastic tension loss yet. The lack of feel to your hand may be the lack of symmetric cupping/snap back in the string bed.
Hmm... not necessarily I think. Multies, for example, provide plenty of feel without symmetric cupping/snap back in the stting bed.
 

BlueB

Hall of Fame
#12
Dead poly may lack the power but it also lacks feel, and the lack of feel equals lack of control in my equation. I've always thought that feel is a critical ingredient of string in terms of control. If poly benefits control by being dead, people would't opt for fresh strings.
Feel has nothing to do with control. By the time the brain processed the feel and can do something with it, the ball is long gone... However, the feel could give a feedback that posibly can be utilised for the next shot.

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#13
The situation which I'm going to describe below happens ALWAYS, since I can remember! Please HELP me! I’m doing something very wrong! But what?

That’s the main problem:

I buy only used rackets.
Every time I purchase a new (used) racket I play with it a few matches with the strings which already has. And it plays perfect! And me too!

When the strings going off and I decide to strung them, I really ruin them!
They play so bad that usually I sell them asap….

Lately I buy old rackets only.
Now I have a racket with 20 years old (original) strings on it (yes, is not a typo, twenty years old strings) and it plays better than my second piece of the same model which I have strung few days ago…

Additional info you may need:

- In these long period I have use 3-4 different stringers.
So, the problem can’t be the stringer.

- In these long period I have use at least 15 different strings, most of them with very positive reviews. So, the problem can’t be a particular string.

- Many times (when I can read the string brand and size) I try to “copy” the excising setup which plays nice. Of course I have to guess the tension. No luck with this either...

- I play recreational, only 5-6 times a month. So the period between each racquet restringing is not so close and of course I don’t want to string, hit a hour, re-string, hit a hour, re-string etc

- I have 5 racquets at the moment, so I almost strung one every month.

It’s really crazy to play better with 20y old strings!
I’m doing something very wrong! But what?
Please give me a point how to stop this craziness….

This happened to me exactly. Ive got a h22 racquet from the auction site which belonged to atp player Sela, with quite old yellow strings on it , strung on us open 2014!

The moment from the first hit till I cut the strings between March 2018 and September 2018 , I had a feeling that this is the best can exist. Took my whole game to another level.

I took it to the stringer, he said it was a poly ? Maybe? He said he will put something similar..

From that day to ytd , I cant use that racquet. Most closer thing was a hyper g but gave me GE , and nothing else works.. What was that yellow powerful control oriented string which lasted 6 months after 4 years of sitting??! Mystery
 
#15
Thank you all folks!

Don't play on the existing strings that a racquet comes with. Just re-string it and play on it. Ignorance is bliss.
LOOLLLL You can say that again!!!!


My best guess is that the 20 year old strings are significantly looser, maybe 50% looser, than when originally stung. They would also be "deader"; you would perceive less power that with new strings that loose. Perhaps you like the low power dead feel? If that's the case, you might want to try a restring with dead from the factory strings. Something like Kevlar mains strung fairly loose, +/- 35lbs, with some poly crosses might be to your liking.
That’s a really good guess! One of the best old setup on a racquet that I recently bought came this very very loose mains of Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 (I bought a reel afterwards) and an unknown crosses of a silver thick poly (which I can’t trace the brand of it) strung very very tight.

When I string this racquet few days ago I try to “copy” this set up but I failure dramatically. That’s the main reason who makes me to start this thread...

Maybe I have to strung crosses tighter than mains. I red somewhere in this forum that is a good way to follow with Fischers. Btw I play with Fischer VT Pro 98 and Fischer Pro No 1 (last gen).


Invest $5 in Racquet Tune, the iOS or Android app. The iOS version has better/more features. Measure/est the existing tension in the frame you bought. That will give you some idea what ref tension you want with the new string job. Use the same string type and gauge. I would think that the existing strings are probably around 35#. FWIW, if your stringer has a pre-stretch button, tell him to use 15-20%. This will deaden the new strings.
That also a good idea! Thank you esgee! I can better do it with a DT measurement of the old stringbed. And the pre-stretch is an option too. The problem is that I can’t recognize the old strings in many cases…


Perhaps your honeymoon period coincide with the original string's remaining life and by the time you restring your honeymoon is over.
Nope.... I love my current racquets. All of them there are keepers!
Sometime I think to sell some, but (fortunately) I regret it in a moment!


You seem to like the locked (no string movement) string beds. Old strings are almost inevitably notched and locked. It gives a bit harsher feel, but a lot of precision and predictability. Lower launch angle too.

There is no way to replicate it, though. The closest thing would be to string tighter then you think it would be required.
I’ve try the tight way you propose. Unfortunately it wasn’t the solution...

No Blue, they aren’t notched and locked in the way you describe.

Is more like this:
This locking never seems to happen to me. Synthetic, multi, kevlar... they move like crazy and continue to do so until they break.

I recently hit with someone that moved into the area. He showed me one of his old racquets that he uses and was hitting fine. Then I let him hit with one of my racquets and he was sending the ball into the fence. I took a look at it was some old dead poly. I told him that's probably why he was able to keep the ball under control because it was dead and no power.He would have to look at new strings that would provide low power to match what he was used to playing with.
That’s true Traffic. I prefer low power strings. Most of the strings I use are medium to low power. And for sure you can name these old strings on the used racquets somehow ‘dead” ...


What was that yellow powerful control oriented string which lasted 6 months after 4 years of sitting??! Mystery
Was that a glossy yellow string? eg like glass where you can see through its transparency?
A long time ago I had a Volkl PB 10 Mid with a similar dead glossy yellow string and was really superb! In that case I managed to discover the brand. It was a famous string of the previous decade, the Babolat Duralast (some insists that was the same with the latest Pro Hurricane Tour).


Old, dead synthetic gut is so good. I’ve hit with a POG with super old PSG (early 90s stringing) and it hit like a dream.
Yeahh.. I’m gonna keep my 20 years old s-gut racquet with that string as long as I can...
 
Last edited:

acintya

Hall of Fame
#16
My best guess is that the 20 year old strings are significantly looser, maybe 50% looser, than when originally stung. They would also be "deader"; you would perceive less power that with new strings that loose. Perhaps you like the low power dead feel? If that's the case, you might want to try a restring with dead from the factory strings. Something like Kevlar mains strung fairly loose, +/- 35lbs, with some poly crosses might be to your liking.
pro tip
 
#18
Was that a glossy yellow string? eg like glass where you can see through its transparency?
A long time ago I had a Volkl PB 10 Mid with a similar dead glossy yellow string and was really superb! In that case I managed to discover the brand. It was a famous string of the previous decade, the Babolat Duralast (some insists that was the same with the latest Pro Hurricane Tour).




Yeahh.. I’m gonna keep my 20 years old s-gut racquet with that string as long as I can...

https://img.tennis-warehouse.com/new_big/BH17T-1.jpg


Yeah, this looks like it. Numbers support the experience..
 
#19
20 years ago, many rackets were strung with Leoina 66, Prince Syn Original, and Head Vantage. The 1st 2 are still made today. I'd try out some 66 and see how it feels.
 
#20

https://img.tennis-warehouse.com/new_big/BH17T-1.jpg


Yeah, this looks like it. Numbers support the experience..
DONT TRY THIS STRING! WARNING: VERY HARSH (stiff/crisp however u want to look at it) on another note to OP, you probably like the feel of old strings and had enough good fortune to come across good setups in used racquets that you bought...you should ask what strings, what tension, when they got it strung to try to estimate what kind of strings/tension is in the racquet and try to recreate whatever feels best. I rotate between 4-5 racquets with different string setups and i try to play with the softest setup that still provides sufficient control. Usually after a week or two, standard tension loss in poly will soften the stringbed


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#22
@Simplicius

Back in the days of the US Pro Indoors, I saw Brad Gilbert put the freshly strung frame he picked up at the bottom of his racket duffel. I asked him why and he said he like the strings better when they had set for a week or so.
SG for many players played best when they were old, and just about to break.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#23
String your racket 1 piece no weaving at the highest tension the racket would allow with no knots and let the racket sit for at least a week. Your could use flying clamps and or starting clamps to hold tension on the string. Then take the string out and have your racket strung at a very low tension. It can’t hurt, you could use a cheap SG for a test.
 
#25
I like hitting with old strings too usually. When I string new, I like to use a relatively dead poly that loses a lot of tension initially. One of my favorites is Kirschbaum Competition. I strung it pretty loose and would let it sit for two weeks or so before I would hit with it assuming I didn't need it early due to another break.

My latest reel I bought was Weiss Cannon Ultra Cable. I've been stringing it at 52/36 and it's been playing very well. It's a bit more lively than I think I want it, but not so bad that I want to restring it before it breaks. I also want to see if I can play it until it breaks without it changing it's play too much. So far so good. I think I've got about 15-18 hours on it and it's just a bit notched. This is about 1/4 singles and 3/4 doubles. I'll probably bump the crosses up a few pounds on the next stringing and see how that feels.

The other thing I've noticed that seems to work is to string a multi fairly tight on a lock out. A friend of mine would string NXT in his pure drives at like 62 lbs or so. After a week or two of hitting they would be almost pillowy. He didn't like it that way because it sapped his power when he hit hard, but the feel and control is pretty fantastic.
 
#27
- Many times (when I can read the string brand and size) I try to “copy” the excising setup which plays nice. Of course I have to guess the tension. No luck with this either...
As I've said above, recently I tried one more time to "copy" a good old excisting setup and this time it isn't far away for the original!
The very best setup on a racquet which I've bought strung so far had a very loose Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 on the mains and a tight thick 1.30 silver poly on crosses - which I can't say what it was... Both strings are not notched or locked.

I use Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 at 22 kg (48.5 lbs) on the mains and Pros Pro Intence Heat 1.25 at 21 kg (46.5 lbs) on the crosses ( I had a stock of Intence Heat).
The first hours were disaster - no height control at all, I net every ball - but after a short period improved a lot.

Not as the original setup, but very close!
Unfortunately crosses are locked, but this doesn't bothers me too much as the mains move nice.
Next time I'm thinking to try thicker crosses - maybe a little bit tighter - and the Gutex few lbs down.
Seems that I like loose mains (which I can "move" easily with my mid-powered shots and tight crosses to keep the control there...
 
#28
As I've said above, recently I tried one more time to "copy" a good old excisting setup and this time it isn't far away for the original!
The very best setup on a racquet which I've bought strung so far had a very loose Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 on the mains and a tight thick 1.30 silver poly on crosses - which I can't say what it was... Both strings are not notched or locked.

I use Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 at 22 kg (48.5 lbs) on the mains and Pros Pro Intence Heat 1.25 at 21 kg (46.5 lbs) on the crosses ( I had a stock of Intence Heat).
The first hours were disaster - no height control at all, I net every ball - but after a short period improved a lot.

Not as the original setup, but very close!
Unfortunately crosses are locked, but this doesn't bothers me too much as the mains move nice.
Next time I'm thinking to try thicker crosses - maybe a little bit tighter - and the Gutex few lbs down.
Seems that I like loose mains (which I can "move" easily with my mid-powered shots and tight crosses to keep the control there...
I've used Cyber Flash silver 1.25/Gutex Ultra 1.30, the reverse of what you're describing, many times @48/53 in my MW signature racquet. It is nice and plush and has excellent power on ground strokes. But I didn't have much accuracy on serves. I'll probably try it again a couple of lbs. lower in the near future.
 
#29
As I've said above, recently I tried one more time to "copy" a good old excisting setup and this time it isn't far away for the original!
The very best setup on a racquet which I've bought strung so far had a very loose Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 on the mains and a tight thick 1.30 silver poly on crosses - which I can't say what it was... Both strings are not notched or locked.

I use Pros Pro Gutex Ultra 1.30 at 22 kg (48.5 lbs) on the mains and Pros Pro Intence Heat 1.25 at 21 kg (46.5 lbs) on the crosses ( I had a stock of Intence Heat).
The first hours were disaster - no height control at all, I net every ball - but after a short period improved a lot.

Not as the original setup, but very close!
Unfortunately crosses are locked, but this doesn't bothers me too much as the mains move nice.
Next time I'm thinking to try thicker crosses - maybe a little bit tighter - and the Gutex few lbs down.
Seems that I like loose mains (which I can "move" easily with my mid-powered shots and tight crosses to keep the control there...
not trying to be a debbie downer but that’s a bad idea...string bed will lock up if u string crosses tighter and use thicker gauge. Normally the thicker gauge you go, the less tension you should string it at. Thinner strings tend to have more power and tension loss so I would suggest stringing those a bit tighter. If you would like to know the tension of your strings then use racquet tune, it’s an app that listens to your strings to determine tension. Higher pitched = tighter. If anything, use thicker gauge in mains cuz those are more likely to break and thinner gauge in cross for increased playability. Just my opinion. Best of luck!


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