Inexpensive Hybrid for Club Player

JohnTN

New User
I am 70+ year old player with classic strokes and 3.5 rating. I recently strung a ProKennex Q5 with the Wilson Champion hybrid strings at tension higher than intended (58 main gut and 55 crosss Luxalon). It plays like a board. This is a new racquet to me but I have another PK Q5 strung Wilson Champ[ion at 57/54 that feels much better. Don't understand why they feel so much different (although it could be operator error since I string very infrequently and just for myself).

Anyway I need to change this string job. What about cutting out the Luxalon cross strings and putting in Prince Syn Gut? Is it ok to just replace the crosses?

Otherwise, I am considering restringing with Wilson NXT in mains and Prince Syn Gut in crosses at tensions of probably 54/51, unless someone can suggest better differential between the mains and crosses.

I only string for myself and wife and these are the only strings I happen to currently have.

Any comment on replacing just the crosses or restring with NXT and syn gut?

John
 

Happi

Professional
Is it OK to cut out the Luxilon crosses and use the NXT as crosses -- that preserves the gut mains that have only been played with about 2 hours?
Absolutely - just mount the racquet tight at the stringing machine before cutting out the crosses.

Problem with Gut/Multi, Gut/SyntGut, FB Multi and FB SyntGut in a OS racquet is that strings will move like crazy, I have tried many setup's and my favorite is Gut/Isospeed Professional Classic 17, this combo is very soft and strings don't move around. Isospeed Professional is a cheap multi in the US (expensive in Europe), be sure to get the Classic version that comes in a blue mini reel.
 

JohnTN

New User
Absolutely - just mount the racquet tight at the stringing machine before cutting out the crosses.

Problem with Gut/Multi, Gut/SyntGut, FB Multi and FB SyntGut in a OS racquet is that strings will move like crazy, I have tried many setup's and my favorite is Gut/Isospeed Professional Classic 17, this combo is very soft and strings don't move around. Isospeed Professional is a cheap multi in the US (expensive in Europe), be sure to get the Classic version that comes in a blue mini reel.
Thanks for your input and suggestion. Head size is 100. Think I will try SG in crosses since I already have some and don't hit with heavy spin.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Slow down.. before you mount that frame and cut the crosses, what type of stringer do you have? A 2 point or 6 point mount?

there is no way I would cut the crosses out of a frame leaving gut mains on a 2 point mount. Your frame will be shortened. Saw that happen a month ago with an inexperienced stringer. I had him cut all the strings out of his frame on the court as his PA was .25 inches shorter than his other one. His frame was more oval than his other one and it was noticeably distorted.

If you have a 6 point mount, your frame will be better protected as you cut the crosses, but please heed the warning not to try this on a 2 point mount.
 
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If you're determined to do it, you'll need to take more time. Mount the frame, cut out the top cross, maybe 2. Make sure you don't damage the main when trying to get the knot off. String the top 2 crosses with the new string. Cut out 2 more, string those. Keep doing this until you've finished. Still not a good practice, but it you're going to do it, this will help keep your racket safer. You may want to string the crosses a little tighter also because you'll have more resistance (friction) than you would if there were no strings in frame.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
As an "older player" (not quite your age) I think gut/poly is a great option and when one does the math is not as costly a setup as people think. As you string yourself 3 packs of gut and 3 packs of a cheap but good poly (don't spend for lux) can keep you in racquets for $150 per year or less.

I am getting 2-3 months out of my gut/poly hybrids. By the time they are shot I find both the gut and the poly are shot and I don't think it is worth just cutting out the crosses.

If you change to multi mains (I think there are better options than NXT) you are going to find that they give up the fight much quicker and you will be restringing more frequently. In the end you spend at least as much if not more for a setup that is not as nice.

Ask for a pack of Natural Gut for your birthday and another for a holiday gift and pay for the rest yourself.

Another thing as an older player, like when I drink Scotch, tennis is more about the experience and for that I want the best I can get.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I am 70+ year old player with classic strokes and 3.5 rating. I recently strung a ProKennex Q5 with the Wilson Champion hybrid strings at tension higher than intended (58 main gut and 55 crosss Luxalon). It plays like a board. This is a new racquet to me but I have another PK Q5 strung Wilson Champ[ion at 57/54 that feels much better. Don't understand why they feel so much different (although it could be operator error since I string very infrequently and just for myself).

Anyway I need to change this string job. What about cutting out the Luxalon cross strings and putting in Prince Syn Gut? Is it ok to just replace the crosses?

Otherwise, I am considering restringing with Wilson NXT in mains and Prince Syn Gut in crosses at tensions of probably 54/51, unless someone can suggest better differential between the mains and crosses.

I only string for myself and wife and these are the only strings I happen to currently have.

Any comment on replacing just the crosses or restring with NXT and syn gut?

John
Agree with our pals in terms of swapping out the crosses only if you have a machine with six-point mounting to properly support the hoop. I use a six-point machine now, but I can say that I would sometimes see significant "excursions" with the heads of some racquets as I'd install the crosses on my old rig that had two-point mounting. Having seen the difference, my six-point machine - which also has fixed clamps - lets me string with much more confidence that I'm limiting the stress on the frame.

I've done a couple of hybrids where I combined a multifiber main with a syn. gut cross and it gave me rather a mixed bag of results. Yes, I think it's worth a try if you want a softer string bed that might have a little better composure than a full bed of multi. But there's really no knowing what results you'll get until you try one combo or another.

One younger dude I coached in his high school days - he's a twenty-something now - has an especially sensitive shoulder and has always needed a layout that's comfortable for him. When I strung both of his frames last summer, I did one with a full bed of Kirschbaum syn. gut (SG) 16. The other got a multi/SG hybrid of Prince Premier Control 16 (PPC) in the mains and Gosen OGSM 16 crosses. I expected the hybrid to be a bit softer than the full bed of syn. gut - I even dropped the tension of the Gosen in the hybrid by a couple lbs. That's a relatively firm SG, but it generally works great as a slippery, durable cross in a simple poly hybrid.

The hybrid turned out to be much more harsh for him compared with the full bed of K-baum, which happens to be my personal favorite SG - it's nicely affordable and at the right tension, it plays buttery smooth. Our pals here sometimes assert that the comfort level of some string beds can depend on how well those strings resist "locking up" after some play and can no longer slide across each other. It may have been the case with this hybrid that the two strings didn't slide so well, but who knows? Just offering one example where a results from two different layouts were exactly the opposite of what I expected.

I can also say that I've had rather good luck with Prince Premier Control 16. It's significantly more affordable that some of the premium multis and it does a better than average job of holding its tension. Several other multis I've sampled have turned too soft for me too quickly to justify their price tag.

Another affordable option among softer strings is Forten Sweet. Although this is a syn. gut, it's literally soft enough to work as an alternative to some multis.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Thanks for your input and suggestion. Head size is 100. Think I will try SG in crosses since I already have some and don't hit with heavy spin.
Agreed with @LOBALOT. Gut / Yonex Poly Tour Air, Gut/ Isospeen Cream, Gut / Tier One Ghostwire are soft setups in order of increasing stiffness. But since you write you don't hit with heavy spin, another long term option you might consider is Natural Gut / Technibre HDMX, as that setup that will outlast the gut/poly sets as the crosses won't die. HDMX, like Triax is a multilyesyter ( a fusion of multifilaments and polyester)

 

JohnTN

New User
Well, dun dunit -- with no detrimental results to the frame. When stood up by my other PK Q5 the racquets are the same shape and height.

My stringer is a Tenex 4000, vintage 1990, that I inherited from my Dad in 1998. I only pulled it out and started stringing family racquets in 2012. It only has two clamps, at the head and throat, but the clamps press the hoop frame down on plastic pads that have an inner lip that matches the curve of the frame. The clamp/pad can be adjusted snug to the length of the hoop so the hoop can't shorten without hopping up over the restraining lip pressed against the inside of the frame at the head and throat. There are also two leveling pads at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions.

I did consider the possibility of the frame being stressed by cutting the crosses, but felt the design of the stringer would prevent deformation. Also, when stringing a racquet all the mains are tensioned before the crosses are started so that would seem to put the frame in the same stress as removing the crosses.

So, gut remained in the mains which were strung at 57 lbs a couple of weeks ago. I removed all the Luxilon crosses and strung PSG in the crosses at 53 lbs. Played couple of sets of doubles today and the feel was better than the Wilson Champion hybrid but still not as muted as the first PK Q5 racquet I owned, but lost,(and had the Wilson Champion hybrid in it).

I now have two more like new PK Q5s bought on **** that I am trying to setup to feel like the one I had before. The second **** one came strung with Tecnifibre NRG in mains at 52 lbs, and Tecnifibre X-biophase in the crosses at 49 lbs. These are lower tensions than I have ever used in my racquest but it does feel muted much like my first racquet I lost. I don't plan to restring this one right now as the feel is fine.

I will play with the two PK Q5s as they are now. The one with Tecnifibre strings shows some wear and the crosses will probably break fairly soon.

I have a number of sets of strings bought in the last 8 years plus a box of inherited strings from the late 1990's.

Newer stings include: Wilson NXT Comfort, Prince Premier, Tecnifibre E-Matrix, Prince SG (5 packs), all 16 gauge.​
20 year old strings include: Prince Pro-Blend hybrid (3 packs), Wilson HammerLast 15, Prince Attitude, Prince Endurance 15L, Wilson HammerTec 16 NER, and one package Prince SG 17 gauge. These have all been stored in a container in my garage and not subjected to extreme heat or sun.​

Anyone care to suggest one of these for when the Tecnifbre strings break, either single string or hybrid of some kind?

I don't mind to experiment but it takes me 2 hours to string a racquet due to my lack of experience and many months between string jobs.

I will also look into some of the suggestions from the posts above and order some gut.

Thanks for your help.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
I wish had snapped two pictures of the Babolat PA that shortened by 1/4 inch. After asking more questions, in that case the inexperienced stinger strung the mains then pulled the frame off the stringer without stinging he crosses, I order to string a few other frames for juniors who were playing that day.

The MRT made sure she knew this was a no-no. The PA moved back to place but it was shocking to see a frame shorten like that.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
I know nothing about the strings in your garage other than Pro Blend which I used 30+ years ago in high school, or how hot or cold your garage gets. Pro Blend is extremely boardy Kevlar / Syn Gut


For me, I wouldn't use stings left in a car or garage for 20 years but then again, I have 50+ reels of string and am rather picky about how I store my strings.
 
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