In praise of Kevlar/ZX hybrid!!!

lukaslukas

New User
So today I tried the new strings. The stringer even strung it at lower tensions at 50/44, he told me otherwise it would have been like playing with a concrete stringbed...but for me it was the complete opposite. It was very comfortable and much too powerfull, so I had to reduce my strokes and so the depth was pretty inconsistent. And unfortunately there was pretty bad snapback. But that was to be expected, without more of a differential, right? I guess with better spin, it would have been easier to deal with all the power.
Now I really need to find a stringer, which is ok with trying stuff like this. Should I try 50 for the crosses next time, or is it enough to just increase tension on the mains? Maybe 65/45? My racket is a 16by18 100 square inch prince phantom pro 100p.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
So today I tried the new strings. The stringer even strung it at lower tensions at 50/44, he told me otherwise it would have been like playing with a concrete stringbed...but for me it was the complete opposite. It was very comfortable and much too powerfull, so I had to reduce my strokes and so the depth was pretty inconsistent. And unfortunately there was pretty bad snapback. But that was to be expected, without more of a differential, right? I guess with better spin, it would have been easier to deal with all the power.
Now I really need to find a stringer, which is ok with trying stuff like this. Should I try 50 for the crosses next time, or is it enough to just increase tension on the mains? Maybe 65/45? My racket is a 16by18 100 square inch prince phantom pro 100p.
Yeah stringers dont understand.

Get a new one who will do what you ask and yes 65/45 will be a great atarting point.

Snapback is where rhe strings stay straigth. It seems like they didnt???
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
I'm very happy with my Kev+/ZX (with basic 2 lbs diff), but recently tried some cheaper multi/poly with high diff (55/40) in one of my spare racquets. It played very nice.

Maybe it's time to finally try Kev+/ZX with a high diff. Ordering new strings right now :D
Do it. Based on my positive experience, I'm ordering another Crossfire ZX pack too.

To be used on my old beat-up O3 White Original that's gathering dust in the closet. I'm wondering if this blend of low-powered string + free power tweener would breed a give me a good mix of controlled power. Thinking of going 90/35 difference this time. Hope my stringer's machine can hit that high tension.
 

lukaslukas

New User
Snapback is where rhe strings stay straigth. It seems like they didnt???
Yeah, I only hit for about an hour and the mains were out of place and fraying already. I use tyger kevlar because the ashaway one is not available unfortunately. It has some coating on it. I thought this should even help with snapback?
And another thing - the stringer put the prince logo on the strings. Did anyone experience worse snapback with this kind of paint on the strings. It feels a little sticky, as far as I can tell.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
did
So today I tried the new strings. The stringer even strung it at lower tensions at 50/44, he told me otherwise it would have been like playing with a concrete stringbed...but for me it was the complete opposite. It was very comfortable and much too powerfull, so I had to reduce my strokes and so the depth was pretty inconsistent. And unfortunately there was pretty bad snapback. But that was to be expected, without more of a differential, right? I guess with better spin, it would have been easier to deal with all the power.
Now I really need to find a stringer, which is ok with trying stuff like this. Should I try 50 for the crosses next time, or is it enough to just increase tension on the mains? Maybe 65/45? My racket is a 16by18 100 square inch prince phantom pro 100p.
Did you or the stringer pre-stretch both strings?
 

lukaslukas

New User
did

Did you or the stringer pre-stretch both strings?
Only the zx. Stringway tested the tyger kevlar and found it has pretty much zero tension loss, so I thought the differential would take care of it. Too bad, the stringer didn't want to do that. Would have been interesting, if this made the difference.
 
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hurworld

Hall of Fame
Only the zx. Stringway tested the tyger kevlar and found it has pretty much zero tension loss, so I thought the differential would take care of it. Too bad, the stringer didn't want to do that. Would have been interesting, if this made the difference.
If you can't find stringer that strings to your specifications, as you said, probably ought to get yourself a cheap second-hand stringing machine?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Only the zx. Stringway tested the tyger kevlar and found it has pretty much zero tension loss, so I thought the differential would take care of it. Too bad, the stringer didn't want to do that. Would have been interesting, if this made the difference.
1st off not all kevlar is created equally. i tried a few different ones like forten, ag, and prince. They are different. Ashaway seems to wear best and snapback more. Also the big differential helps in that department. And yeah I think the stencil doesnt help. Always thought they muck up the stringbed.

You could try a light dose of olive oil or silicon spray to get some snap back back.

Also if you can get zx why cant you get their kev?
 
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lukaslukas

New User
1st off not all kevlar is created equally. i tried a few different ones like forten, ag, and prince. They are different. Ashaway seems to wear best and snapback more. Also the big differential helps in that department. And yeah I think the stencil doesnt help. Always thought they muck up the stringbed.

You could try a light dose of olive oil or silicon spray to get some snap back back.

Also if you can get zx why cant you get their kev?
Thanks! The Ashaway kevlar isn't available here - TW Europe has some of their strings but not the kevlar. They offer the crossfire zx set but that's the kevlar plus, so I didn't want to try that, because many people said it's not as good. I think, I'll try poly mains next but of course only if I find a stringer, which strings with the differential I want. But so I have a way to test if the ESP concept works for me. I found, that I could order the Ashaway kevlar from England but before I get a reel, I prefer to have a first try with poly/zx and after that maybe another one with the Tyger kevlar I already have - maybe it works, if I can get it strung at a 20lbs+ differential.
I'm still wondering how the snapback could be bad to such an extent with my current setup. I mean, this didn't happen with full polys after playing for much longer than an hour. Both ZX and the Tyger kevlar are pretty slick and I already have a small differential at least.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
Thanks! The Ashaway kevlar isn't available here - TW Europe has some of their strings but not the kevlar. They offer the crossfire zx set but that's the kevlar plus, so I didn't want to try that, because many people said it's not as good. I think, I'll try poly mains next but of course only if I find a stringer, which strings with the differential I want. But so I have a way to test if the ESP concept works for me. I found, that I could order the Ashaway kevlar from England but before I get a reel, I prefer to have a first try with poly/zx and after that maybe another one with the Tyger kevlar I already have - maybe it works, if I can get it strung at a 20lbs+ differential.
I'm still wondering how the snapback could be bad to such an extent with my current setup. I mean, this didn't happen with full polys after playing for much longer than an hour. Both ZX and the Tyger kevlar are pretty slick and I already have a small differential at least.
I think a lot of us dipped our toes in this ESP thingy with the Kevlar+ from Crossfire ZX. As an experiment, I don't think it's that far off.
If you really must, get the Monogut ZX pack and a cheap Crossfire II (the one with regular kevlar and syn gut) and use the kevlar.
 

lukaslukas

New User
I think a lot of us dipped our toes in this ESP thingy with the Kevlar+ from Crossfire ZX. As an experiment, I don't think it's that far off.
If you really must, get the Monogut ZX pack and a cheap Crossfire II (the one with regular kevlar and syn gut) and use the kevlar.
Thanks, I didn't know, the crossfire II set includes the 'real' kevlar. Maybe I'll get that.
 
In the last two weeks I have turned two players onto the Kev/Zx hybrid (with pre stretch and differential). In both cases I asked for feedback with the promise I would restring with whatever their favorite set up prior was.
They both really liked it, no restringing.
Then a guest at my house, a D 1 assistant coach, borrowed one of my racquets to go hit. Came back and, unprompted, asked about string set up. Said it felt great.
This combination with the proper prep and stringing technique is a lot of work but it may be worth the effort.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
Another update to my Kev/ZX O3 Tour Mid (strung at 75/40).

3 hours of doubles (mixture of mixed doubles and men's doubles) over the weekend. Before the games, I put in 4g total lead tape at 10 and 2 o'clock position of hoop, and moved my Kimony Quake Buster back from 12 to 6.

Feeling is still firm and comfy. No sore / pain in arm/elbow/wrist whatsoever.

Reaction volleys are still on point. The low powered stringbed helps to tame power when I don't absorb the powered passing shots. The few times I screwed up was because I lost concentration and didn't get my racquet in ready position in front of me. Got hit by a body shot because of that. Got a few reaction volley winners when I managed to direct the powered passing shots to land between the opposition players.

Some forehand ground strokes sailed long. But some opposition did say they noticed spins were deceptively high. Backhand remains solid and with some more noticeable pace on the balls.

Flat serves seemed to have suffered more. After struggling with inconsistencies for a few games I decided to stick to kick/slice serves for the rest of the night. But then my service is my weakest weapon, so I can't say it is due to the strings set-up.

I have probably overshot my swing weight compensation with my lead tapes. For my next sessions I'll remove all the lead tapes and just put 2g in 12 o'clock and leave my dampener at 6 o'clock. Might even switch to using rubberband instead to help reduce SW.

Just put in order for another Crossfire ZX pack.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Likely racquet dependent? I used the dampener because the 'ping' sound was driving me nuts.
I swear by foam-filled sticks, so you might be right.

FWIW, I've always found the regular Kev to have a very muffled sound, but the ZX does have a bit of a "metallic" ping, although not so significant that I would want to reduce my feel with a damp.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 

liftordie

Hall of Fame
I swear by foam-filled sticks, so you might be right.

FWIW, I've always found the regular Kev to have a very muffled sound, but the ZX does have a bit of a "metallic" ping, although not so significant that I would want to reduce my feel with a damp.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
Do you hear that ping sound with Crossfire ZX hybrid?
 

OldschoolKIaus

Hall of Fame
Finally strung Kev+/ZX with a high diff. 60/40.

First 1.5 hours felt different than my previous setup (basic 2lbs diff) with Kev+/ZX: stiffer, less ball pocketing. Not so happy.
After the first 1.5 hours, the strings seemed to settle and it get a overall similar, but better response than basic 2 lbs. diff.
With one exception: spin was way better, especially form the baseline ... oh, my one handed backhand finally returned ^^

So I get a better setup and only need to survive the first 1.5 hours. I can live with that as I get between 30 and 35 hours of playability out if it (form what I can tell with my previous basis 2 lbs. diff setup).

Fun fact: I always had similiar experiences with multi/poly at high diff. Felt bad at first, were getting better and better, but snapped right then when they felt superb. Won't happen with kev+/ZX ^^
 
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hurworld

Hall of Fame
Finally strung Kev+/ZX with a high diff. 60/40.

First 1.5 hours felt different than my previous setup (basic 2lbs diff) with Kev+/ZX: stiffer, less ball pocketing. Not so happy.
After the first 1.5 hours, the strings seemed to settle and it get a overall similar, but better response than basic 2 lbs. diff.
With one exception: spin was way better, especially form the baseline ... oh, my one handed backhand finally returned ^^

So I get a better setup and only need to survive the first 1.5 hours. I can live with that as I get between 30 and 35 hours of playability out if it (form what I can tell with my previous basis 2 lbs. diff setup).

Fun fact: I always had similiar experiences with multi/poly at high diff. Felt bad at first, were getting better and better, but snapped right then when they felt superb. Won't happen with kev+/ZX ^^
What racquet did you string them on?
 
I have been visiting this Thread for a long time but didn't have the courage to try Kevlar :)...Mainly worried about the comfort. Tried once last year in PS97 @50/55 (Kevlar/ZX) but didn't like it much, felt very low powered and little boardy as well. Last week i tried again in Angell TC95 63 RA 16x19 @55/45, both were pre-stretched - Really liked it this time. Very consistent string bed with good directional control, feel is little dampened though. Decent power and didn't feel boardy this time and more than anything very comfortable which is the key for me. and Sweet spot felt even sweeter. Really it exceeded my expectations and felt the same in both sessions played so far. Serving took little adjustment because of the launch angle and little less power but after that it was very consistent though i may have lost some mph. btw, i am a 4.5 - 5.0 USTA player with a big serve and 1HBH. If the string bed feels consistent and comfortable for around 25 hours i would convert to this string. My regular strings are RS Lyon and Pro Line II. I was never this consistent on playing swinging volleys, may be because of the firm and consistent string bed. Overall i am so happy with the setup and really looking forward for the next few sessions and see if i can use this in matches.
Will 60/45 or 65/45 have same comfort and playability with even more snap back? will it work on 18x20 as well. i have prince phantom pro 93p and Head Pro Tour 280 (very low powered)? Asking since i heard this works better on open and spin effect racquets. Will regular Kevlar be as comfortable as Kevlar with PTFE Fiber in this setup? Really appreciate Travlerajm, Shroud etc for all the knowledge shared here.
 

tomato123

Semi-Pro
I have been visiting this Thread for a long time but didn't have the courage to try Kevlar :)...Mainly worried about the comfort. Tried once last year in PS97 @50/55 (Kevlar/ZX) but didn't like it much, felt very low powered and little boardy as well. Last week i tried again in Angell TC95 63 RA 16x19 @55/45, both were pre-stretched - Really liked it this time. Very consistent string bed with good directional control, feel is little dampened though. Decent power and didn't feel boardy this time and more than anything very comfortable which is the key for me. and Sweet spot felt even sweeter. Really it exceeded my expectations and felt the same in both sessions played so far. Serving took little adjustment because of the launch angle and little less power but after that it was very consistent though i may have lost some mph. btw, i am a 4.5 - 5.0 USTA player with a big serve and 1HBH. If the string bed feels consistent and comfortable for around 25 hours i would convert to this string. My regular strings are RS Lyon and Pro Line II. I was never this consistent on playing swinging volleys, may be because of the firm and consistent string bed. Overall i am so happy with the setup and really looking forward for the next few sessions and see if i can use this in matches.
Will 60/45 or 65/45 have same comfort and playability with even more snap back? will it work on 18x20 as well. i have prince phantom pro 93p and Head Pro Tour 280 (very low powered)? Asking since i heard this works better on open and spin effect racquets. Will regular Kevlar be as comfortable as Kevlar with PTFE Fiber in this setup? Really appreciate Travlerajm, Shroud etc for all the knowledge shared here.
There's another thread that Travlerajm started a while ago that talked about smaller head size and dense pattern being great for Kevlar/zx at big tension differentials. Something about the smaller head size being more resistant to frame squash and being able to store more potential energy with super high Kevlar tension. From what I read, I believe it is also the case that more open patterns do not need as much of a differential, but for dense patterns it really needs the big differential to get the kevlar to snap back freely and get the best of both worlds where you'd get great spin and directional control.

I tried Kevlar/zx on my 93P once a few months ago at 65/45 and it mostly played great like any other Kevlar/zx setup I tried in other frames, but the feel and performance of the stringbed got inconsistent because I did not do a thorough enough prestretch. I also experienced a little elbow soreness from this setup on the 93P because I *think*, counterintuitively, I did not string the Kevlar tension high enough - because from what I understand, you need to have high enough tension to squash the racquet enough which will actually bring down the "actual" tension to the 50's, but with the smaller head size not producing enough frame squash, the stringbed probably played like a true mid-60's tension, hence the elbow pain. (Please correct me if I'm wrong!) So in the end I ended up prematurely cutting it out. I also prefer to have more free power from my strings and racquet so for now, I've moved on to gut/poly on my 93P until I could figure out how to make sure I get a complete prestretch of both strings and figure out what tension would work best, which I'm not willing to do at this time. But I do think the frame has great potential for this string combo. Will need to take a crack at the DIY prestretch device ideas at some point!
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I also prefer to have more free power from my strings and racquet so for now, I've moved on to gut/poly on my 93P until I could figure out how to make sure I get a complete prestretch of both strings and figure out what tension would work best, which I'm not willing to do at this time. But I do think the frame has great potential for this string combo. Will need to take a crack at the DIY prestretch device ideas at some point!
If you like gut/poly, then just stick with it as no string combo can equal the combo of high launch and easy power. (It is a challenge for me to control, so I don't use it anymore)

The Kev main is great for more leveraged shots and total control over trajectory, ime.
 
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skydog

Semi-Pro
would the ashaway kevlar be fairly good on an open string racket such as the burn 100s cv?
I use the Kevlar/ZX hybrid in a wide open Prince Tour 98 ESP 16 x 16 pattern. For a racquet that was labeled a string eater, I have been able to get 75 to 100 hours on a string bed without any noticible loss of performance. I have also found that I needed to up the tension differential in the open patterns versus the tighter patterns I have tried the hybrid on to help promote better main SnapBack.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I have been visiting this Thread for a long time but didn't have the courage to try Kevlar :)...Mainly worried about the comfort. Tried once last year in PS97 @50/55 (Kevlar/ZX) but didn't like it much, felt very low powered and little boardy as well. Last week i tried again in Angell TC95 63 RA 16x19 @55/45, both were pre-stretched - Really liked it this time. Very consistent string bed with good directional control, feel is little dampened though. Decent power and didn't feel boardy this time and more than anything very comfortable which is the key for me. and Sweet spot felt even sweeter. Really it exceeded my expectations and felt the same in both sessions played so far. Serving took little adjustment because of the launch angle and little less power but after that it was very consistent though i may have lost some mph. btw, i am a 4.5 - 5.0 USTA player with a big serve and 1HBH. If the string bed feels consistent and comfortable for around 25 hours i would convert to this string. My regular strings are RS Lyon and Pro Line II. I was never this consistent on playing swinging volleys, may be because of the firm and consistent string bed. Overall i am so happy with the setup and really looking forward for the next few sessions and see if i can use this in matches.
Will 60/45 or 65/45 have same comfort and playability with even more snap back? will it work on 18x20 as well. i have prince phantom pro 93p and Head Pro Tour 280 (very low powered)? Asking since i heard this works better on open and spin effect racquets. Will regular Kevlar be as comfortable as Kevlar with PTFE Fiber in this setup? Really appreciate Travlerajm, Shroud etc for all the knowledge shared here.
Nice post and glad you tried it. This anecdote really captures how big the differential can be and why one should try it. Do try a bigger differential when you can
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Finally strung Kev+/ZX with a high diff. 60/40.

First 1.5 hours felt different than my previous setup (basic 2lbs diff) with Kev+/ZX: stiffer, less ball pocketing. Not so happy.
After the first 1.5 hours, the strings seemed to settle and it get a overall similar, but better response than basic 2 lbs. diff.
With one exception: spin was way better, especially form the baseline ... oh, my one handed backhand finally returned ^^

So I get a better setup and only need to survive the first 1.5 hours. I can live with that as I get between 30 and 35 hours of playability out if it (form what I can tell with my previous basis 2 lbs. diff setup).

Fun fact: I always had similiar experiences with multi/poly at high diff. Felt bad at first, were getting better and better, but snapped right then when they felt superb. Won't happen with kev+/ZX ^^
Glad you tried it! Did you prestretch??
 
Nice post and glad you tried it. This anecdote really captures how big the differential can be and why one should try it. Do try a bigger differential when you can
Sure Thanks...Will try 60/45 next time with a thorough pre-stretch of both the strings for even better control and snap back and then eventually may be 65/45. Will try the same tensions on the dense pattern 93p/PT280 as well and see how it feels. Really happy with the setup so far. As mentioned didn't expect this comfort and surprised with it actually. Looking forward for more sessions once the weather gets better and provide feedback.
 

lukaslukas

New User
As my last stringer didn‘t string my tyger-kevlar/zx combo with the differential I wanted and the racket played really bad, I decided to try a new stringer and ask for a full poly setup with high differential. Again, I prestretched the strings, till I couldn‘t see much more stretch happening.
After some „really..really..this is no mistake?..“ the new stringer strung my racket with my msv focus hex at 66/44.
I tried it today and it played superb. For all the shots that didn‘t land where I wanted, I knew what I did wrong. It was super comfortable and I felt very connected to the ball. I always liked these strings strung with 53/53 but the esp setup felt just perfect today, control-wise. Hope, I didn‘t just have a very good day and I‘m really anxious to see, if this setup can really keep these playing properties for a longer time, than std stringing.
So for now, thanks for the tip travlerajm!
 

PT280 Fan

Rookie
What do people have against the kevlar + string as opposed to the original. 17g is apparently not available in the original anymore and that's my preferred guage.
 

lukaslukas

New User
I didn‘t try it but I heard some people haven‘t been as happy with it, than with the regular one.

Today I played another 1.5 hours with my full poly 66/44 setup and again, this played just perfect. Really happy with it. I also noticed my slice and dropshots are much more consistent.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
At least at TW USA you can buy short and long reels of 17g "plain" Ashaway Kevlar. Also on TW USA if you type in "half set" in the search bar you will find half sets of some nice string for hybrids including 16G Ashaway Kevlar with the Ash Kev only 4.95/half set. How many half sets could a person use in a year? Interestingly, if you type in "1/2 set" in the search bar you can buy some half sets of Klip natural gut. I only use 16g Ashaway Kevlar x 17g Zyex Pro.

I personally think Kevlar+ does not play as "crisp" as plain Ashaway Kevlar, but that is not to say Kevlar+ isn't durable. I've strung a hard hitting 3.5s racket with both in combination with Zyex and I don't think he knows the difference.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I didn‘t try it but I heard some people haven‘t been as happy with it, than with the regular one.

Today I played another 1.5 hours with my full poly 66/44 setup and again, this played just perfect. Really happy with it. I also noticed my slice and dropshots are much more consistent.
How is your racquet??
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
What do people have against the kevlar + string as opposed to the original. 17g is apparently not available in the original anymore and that's my preferred guage.
Its ok. Gives one an idea of what the combo can do but to me its softer and notches easier so it doesnt perform like the regular kevlar.

I bought a 17g reel not to long ago iirc
 

PT280 Fan

Rookie
I find that the different gauges of kevlar play similar, but 17g lasts 3x as long as 18g, and 16g lasts 3x as long as 17g. So I stick with 16g these days. The 16g also plays more consistently over the course of its life since it doesn't get sawed in half nearly as fast.

I use the 17g ZX because it still outlasts the 16g kevlar!
 
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