Ideas for Forten Sweet 16/17

sm01

Rookie
Okay, based on reading the various posts and Power Player's and others' advice, I have acquired several sets of Sweet 16 and 17, along with several sets of Volkl Cyclone 18, and BHBR 17 per the advice of the TW sales staff.

I am a 4.0 level player, using the Head Microgel Prestige Pro upweighted to 348-50 grms, polarized, 6-8 points HL. I have been using RPM Blast 18 in the mid 40s for several years and like it quite well. But I am warned that it will eventually get me.

I hit as hard as anyone I play with (3.5-4.5) and some active college players, have a mainly baseline banging game but attack into the court when opportunity allows. I have excellent heavy topspin and underspin approaches, and a good serve with lots of action that I don't want to lose or impair. Where get beat and really want to improve is when I hit one too short and it sits up. I get murdered a dozen or so times a match on those. They just seem to hang there for the 4.5 and college guys, and they just crush them for winners.

That said, I am ready to do some experimenting. I have 4 PPs, all closely matched. I have one with a good set of RPM Blast as my baseline stick, and 3 open frames.

I am thinking of going with a full set of Sweet 17 at 52 in one racquet to start. As an alternative, I am thinking of a Sweet 16 main at 50, with 17s in the crosses at 52.

As another setup, I am thinking Sweet 16 in the mains at 50 or 52 and Cyclone 18 at 46-47 in the crosses, or vice versa.

I have not considered what to do with the BHBR, I bought it because the TW person said I should try it.

Advice?
 

tball

Semi-Pro
I've tried RPM Blast, as mains in a hybrid, and thought it was awful - way too stiff. Volkl Cyclone 18 is better, but again, too stiff for me, even in a hybrid.

Forten Sweet is great feel-wise, but (1) very little spin and (2) guage 17 lasted me only 1 day, guage 16 lasted me 3 days (1 day == 1.5 - 2.0 hours of hitting).

I would go with Cyclone 18 in the mains, and Sweet in the crosses.

I myself use MSV Co-Focus 18 in the mains @ 44, Forten Syn Gut 15 in the crosses @ 50. This is my prefered setup. I prefer it for softness and spin.

I recently tried Technifibre Black Code 18 + IsoSpeed Professional 17 @ 44/48, and liked that as well if not better than my usual Co-Focus.
 

tball

Semi-Pro
Forgot to mention: from soft, arm-friendly strings, I've experienced the most spin from IsoSpeed Professional (new -- opaque off-white colored string). This surprised me. I was not expecting a soft multi to generate this much spin.
It was also excellent on touch shots. It's downside was that it was very low on power.
 

SteveI

Legend
I've tried RPM Blast, as mains in a hybrid, and thought it was awful - way too stiff. Volkl Cyclone 18 is better, but again, too stiff for me, even in a hybrid.

Forten Sweet is great feel-wise, but (1) very little spin and (2) guage 17 lasted me only 1 day, guage 16 lasted me 3 days (1 day == 1.5 - 2.0 hours of hitting).

I would go with Cyclone 18 in the mains, and Sweet in the crosses.

I myself use MSV Co-Focus 18 in the mains @ 44, Forten Syn Gut 15 in the crosses @ 50. This is my prefered setup. I prefer it for softness and spin.

I recently tried Technifibre Black Code 18 + IsoSpeed Professional 17 @ 44/48, and liked that as well if not better than my usual Co-Focus.
Follow this advice: I would go with Cyclone 18 in the mains, and Sweet in the crosses. I own a Head MG PP also and use Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17G (mains) and Head PPS 16G (crosses) 50/48 and it is a very nice set-up. The Sweet is a sweet cross and I know the Cyclone 18 plays quite soft and with good power at lower tensions. Leaving short balls for 4.5s and college players is not a good thing.. you seldom win those points.
 
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sm01

Rookie
Forgot to mention: from soft, arm-friendly strings, I've experienced the most spin from IsoSpeed Professional (new -- opaque off-white colored string). This surprised me. I was not expecting a soft multi to generate this much spin.
It was also excellent on touch shots. It's downside was that it was very low on power.
Thanks tball, I'll conclude my Forten Sweet trials and work in some IsoSpeed--I was not familiar with it at all.
 

sm01

Rookie
Follow this advice: I would go with Cyclone 18 in the mains, and Sweet in the crosses. I own a Head MG PP also and use Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17G (mains) and Head PPS 16G (crosses) 50/48 and it is a very nice set-up. The Sweet is a sweet cross and I know the Cyclone 18 plays quite soft and with good power at lower tensions. Leaving short balls for 4.5s and college players is not a good thing.. you seldom win those points.
Thanks Steve. I'm really looking forward to these experiments. I mentioned I have some BHBR 17 also. Would that be a good main for use with Sweet? I was planning to just use that as a full bed because of the rough.

Head strings are available at my club and I've experienced Head PPS 16 in Head Instinct and Speed demos there, and liked it quite well. One thing that I notice with the PPS is that it gave me good spin in the demo racquets--amazingly about the same as I get with RPM 18 in my PPro, even though the PPS is thicker. That has not happened with any other string I've used. So it definitely caught my attention, and opened me up to the idea of using a syn gut. I first thought about PPS, but user comments on TW indicate it is short lived, whereas all of the Forten comments here are very positive. So, for my first experiments, I am going with the Sweet.

Re short balls, On the one hand RPM gives me excellent spin and the ability to widen the court. I often go wide angle from deep in the corner and even in the doubles lane to inside the opposite side tee with big topspin dippers. I was not able to do this with my previous string, Sensation 17. Not routinely anyway. But sometimes with RPM I seem to get too much top on the ball, or have my racquet face too open, I don't know why. On those mistakes, the ball seems to have more of a normal arc flight and not its RPM check mark arc with a dive at the end that I love--it still goes in, but sits. When the ball bounces it seems to dwell or carry at the top of its arc above net level. If I just side step to my recovery position on the near side of the center hash I get pounded down the line. If I fake a recovery then take off to cover the DTL I get wrong footed with a cross behind me. All I know is that it is a very hittable ball.

So wide TS cross courts under pressure, along with underspin and TS approaches are areas where I need to evaluate the effect of strings.
 

sm01

Rookie
So I'm off to the stringer tomorrow. In one stick I think I will go with Cyclone 18 in the mains at 45 and Sweet 17 in the crosses at 50 or 51.

In the other stick, if I used to string with Sensation 17 at 52 and liked it and now string with RPM 18 in the mid 40s (44/42; 46/44, etc) and like it, does Sweet 17 at 50 or 52 sound about right? Or is Sweet 17 substantially softer than Sensation so I should go to say 54? Anyone with experience with these strings care to advise?
 

Korso

Semi-Pro
Forten is a very good synthetic and I hate to be a devils advocate but if you use it in a hyrid with a textured poly, durability will be an issue. Saying that it will play extremely well as a main or cross at your desired tension until it breaks. I can't say how long but if you hit the ball hard and with spin, it will not take long at all.
If you are going to use Forten as a full set, I would check out the upper 50's before string in the low 50's. There is plenty of pop at that range.
 

rev200g

Rookie
I don't use Forten Sweet but I do use Forten Competition Nylon 16 with good results as a cross to BHBR 17 with no problems on durability or playability. It actually extends the life of my stringbed by 20-30%.
 

SteveI

Legend
Thanks Steve. I'm really looking forward to these experiments. I mentioned I have some BHBR 17 also. Would that be a good main for use with Sweet? I was planning to just use that as a full bed because of the rough.

Head strings are available at my club and I've experienced Head PPS 16 in Head Instinct and Speed demos there, and liked it quite well. One thing that I notice with the PPS is that it gave me good spin in the demo racquets--amazingly about the same as I get with RPM 18 in my PPro, even though the PPS is thicker. That has not happened with any other string I've used. So it definitely caught my attention, and opened me up to the idea of using a syn gut. I first thought about PPS, but user comments on TW indicate it is short lived, whereas all of the Forten comments here are very positive. So, for my first experiments, I am going with the Sweet.

Re short balls, On the one hand RPM gives me excellent spin and the ability to widen the court. I often go wide angle from deep in the corner and even in the doubles lane to inside the opposite side tee with big topspin dippers. I was not able to do this with my previous string, Sensation 17. Not routinely anyway. But sometimes with RPM I seem to get too much top on the ball, or have my racquet face too open, I don't know why. On those mistakes, the ball seems to have more of a normal arc flight and not its RPM check mark arc with a dive at the end that I love--it still goes in, but sits. When the ball bounces it seems to dwell or carry at the top of its arc above net level. If I just side step to my recovery position on the near side of the center hash I get pounded down the line. If I fake a recovery then take off to cover the DTL I get wrong footed with a cross behind me. All I know is that it is a very hittable ball.

So wide TS cross courts under pressure, along with underspin and TS approaches are areas where I need to evaluate the effect of strings.
The BHBR 17 / Sweet would make a very nice hybrid. Would play soft and spinny with very nice power indeed. Getting the tension(s) correct would be the key for your game and the frame. Good luck.. and enjoy!
 

sm01

Rookie
So today I get my Microgel Prestige Pros out, and I have one with RPM Blast 18 that was strung in September 2012, probably 50 plus hours on it. I dont recall if it had gotten boardy and I set it aside for restringing, or I just set it aside to play with my December 2012 strung sticks. I was going to cut the string out and put some BHBR in it. I have a relatively recently strung stick also. Matched balance and static weight. Played a set and a half with each.

I swear that the one from September 2012 played fine--actually slightly softer than the more recently strung stick. No pain--buttery smooth, excellent control. I don't know, its really hard to understand all of this business about the dangers of leaving poly in too long after my experience today.
 

sm01

Rookie
If anyone is interested, I strung one of my Prestige Pro frames with Forten Sweet 17 at 53. I've played a few matches, switching between a Sweet 17 racquet and an RPM racquet.

Verdict so far is that Sweet 17 at 53 feels marginally firmer than RPM 18 in the mid 40s. I was a bit surprised. My shot depth and power is a bit less with Sweet and so I have to swing harder compared to RPM. The ball also has a lower arc so it appears as a flatter shot. But the spin is decent, and the side spin on approach underspin shots appears comparable. When I really hit out the greater cushioning of the Sweet becomes apparent--its definitely more rubbery feeling and less crisp compared to RPM. Otherwise, not so much different. The feel or lack thereof on low powered shots is comparable. I have pretty spinny serves and don't notice a huge difference. Overall control and placement are similar.

I did not notice any significant notching after about 8 hours of play, maybe 10 percent, which surprised me--maybe a little more than RPM but not much. In my past experience with Sensation 17 and Excel Premier 17, there would have been 20-25 percent or so notching of the mains. There is string movement, but not that much.

I think that I will hold off stringing anything else up and play this out and see what I get. Right now, I think next time I'll go with the Forten Sweet 17 at 50# mains and 48# crosses. So far, pretty good, better spin production than I anticipated.
 

sm01

Rookie
I'm up to about 20 hrs of play on the Forten Sweet 17 at 53.

I have a relatively fresh RPM set in another racquet strung in the mid 40s that I am testing side by side with the FS 17, and the RPM is more comfortable on my spinier shots which I hit most of the time, whereas the FS 17 is more comfortable on the flat hard shots.

I notice that the resiliency of the FS 17 is down a bit and the strings hit a little crisper on the high topspin shots. I also notice more string movement, but seemingly reduced spin output--particularly on spin serves.

Overall, not bad. But not as good for me as a full bed of RPM both spin wise and comfort wise since I have more of a spin game. In the latter regard, I DID NOT expect that. My opponents report that RPM seemingly gives me better power--heavier, harder to handle shots-by a small but noticeable margin.

So I can conclude that I am not going to be a Forten Sweet 17 guy in the 53# range. But it proves that I can get 20 plus hours of play on a Sun gut string job and they are not even 50 percent notched. In comparison, I previously never would have gotten 20 hrs out of Sensation 17 at 52#.

I've got 3 sets of FS 17, 1 set of FS 16, 2 sets of Volkl Cyclone 18, and 2 sets of BHBR 17 left.

I plan to string up a BHBR @ 46# as suggested, and will decide on a hybrid of BHBR based on that test.

I plan to string one with Cyclone 46# mains and FS 17 50# crosses as also suggested.

I am thinking of stringing a stick with FS 17 at 50 mains and 48 crosses just to see if I like it better than 53# because of what I have read.

Any other suggestions?

I also mention that I have a frame strung with RPM 18 mid 40s in Sep '12 that I have hit with a bit and while its a little boardy, if I had to chose between that and my FS 17 stick, I would say I would get better comfort out of the old RPM. This really goes against what I am reading here. Puzzled?????
 

Muppet

Legend
I demoed the Prestige Pro once. That's a very comfy racquet. Old, stiff poly may be a good match for you with that frame. The Sweet 17 w/ the Pres Pro may be giving you too much mush in comparison.
 

sm01

Rookie
I demoed the Prestige Pro once. That's a very comfy racquet. Old, stiff poly may be a good match for you with that frame. The Sweet 17 w/ the Pres Pro may be giving you too much mush in comparison.
Just the opposite. The old RPM is plush! Seriously. I played two sets with my stick strung last Sept and it plays very nicely--good spin production, controlled, plush. The stick strung 3 weeks ago with Forten Sweet 17 is still okay, but its crisper than when the strings were new, not mushy at all.

When I displace the main strings in the sweet spot with my fingers, the old RPM moves back into place relatively quickly, but not quite as quick as the newly strung RPM. The Forten Sweet on the other hand is noticably more taught, harder to pull back, and returns slightly slower--even though it is more taught.

This is an interesting experiment!
 

sm01

Rookie
So my experiment continues. Based on my experience with a full bed of Forten Sweet 17 at 53#, I had another of my MGPPs strung with Volkl Cyclone 18 at 45# in the mains and Sweet 17 at 49# in the crosses.

I now have 3 racquets with relatively fresh string jobs: full bed of RPM Blast 18 at 44/46#; Sweet 17 53#; and Cyclone 18 45#/Sweet 17 49#.

The Blast racquet which is my baseline for these tests, is crisper, and hits decently controlled powerful shots with the pronounced dive at the end. This translates into spinnier and harder serves and deep ground strokes to the corners. I can also open the court with wider angles which I attribute to that ball dive thing. I do not have great feel and soft shots such as drop shots are not well controlled and are a hit and miss proposition--which could be a lack of skill on my part. Based on these tests, I believe that the spin (RPM) and power (Blast) are real and justify the name of the string. Essentially with that string I win some points on serves, drive the ball strongly, keep my opponent back, and force errors with the spin and power. Against stronger players I occasionally sit the ball and am punished.

The all Sweet 17 racquet is not crisp, nor is it what I would call cushioned--it is a bit harsher than I thought it would be. But it hits well controlled shots, with medium power, probably the best control of the 3 sticks, by a slight margin. It definitely does not have the cushioned response as I have previously had with Wilson Sensation 17 at about the same tension. But it provides pretty good spin which I can use to carve the ball and gives me touch I don't have with RPM. So I can play a more controlled game and move my opponent up and back more with low soft shots and drops--more all courtish. At this tension it definitely does not give me the tool to drive ground strokes hard to the corners like RPM.

The Cyclone/Sweet hybrid has more of the feel of the Sweet, definitely not as crisp as the RPM, and probably softer than the full Sweet--which was a surprise. High spin, with medium power--slightly more than the full Sweet and less than the RPM. I definitely hit more of the dreaded sitters with this combo--at least for now. But I have more feel than the RPM, and I can play more of that all court game. This combo is definitely the most comfortable of the 3. One thing I notice is that as the match goes on, the ball nap is raised considerably, which I am attributing to my strings, and I think that this slows the ball down. I've played a few guys over the years and this has occurred, and I think that it gave me an advantage as the ball was easier to hit--seemed to sit more.

Since I like the comfort of the Cyclone Sweet, and a main purpose of this testing is to avoid long term problems, I am thinking that as my next move, when a frame opens I will go with Cyclone/Sweet again. But I'd like to get a bit more power out of it--I'd really like to have the power of RPM and the feel and touch of the Cyclone/Sweet. I am thinking maybe Cyclone mains at 45# again and Sweet crosses at 46 or 47? Or should I lower the Cyclone tension 2#s and hold the Sweet tension? Or lower both, say 2#s? Or is this wishful thinking--should I try RPM/Sweet at say 44#/48# to avoid the ball nap issue?

Also, based on my description, would it be worth it to try a full bed of Sweet 17 at say 48 or 49#s? to maybe get a bit more power?

Except for the RPM, my stringer is letting me drive this and he has no comment but a lot of questions.

Thanks for your help.
 
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