#1
Hi all,

I am a 38 years old player (R6/R7 in Switzerland, US equivalent NTRP ~4.0) and I play tennis since about 5 years including tournaments with license.
I use (3x) Head Youtek Extreme Pro (350g strung, 310 mm balance point, grip L5). I like to play aggressive with spin, sometimes serve and volley. Decent flat and slice 1st serve, so-so kick serve and safe 2nd. Superb forehand, sufficient 1HBH.
Although my category and ranking are low I am quite sensitive to racket, material, weight, balance and strings. E.g. I found (without tool measurement) that my 3 Head racquets were all different.
I can also tell e difference of 0.5 Kg of a stringing job or 5 mm balance difference. Some guys make jokes about me and say I should focus on technique and condition...

I tried several strings over time but I still haven't found the holy grail. I never break strings because I replace them when they lose tension (after about 12h-15h).
Very soon I started using hybrids and I played for long time Luxilon Alu Power + Element. Since it was holding the tension not for long I started to experiment new combinations.
I tried Völkl Cyclone, Luxilon 4G, RPM Blast, ... Then I did the mistake of playing with natural gut and I never came back. The best for me was the Federer strings (Gut mains + Alu rough cross) but it is too expensive and lasts only a few hours.
I have my own power and the racquet is also powerful. I like a hybrid which gives me feeling, comfort, control, spin and tension hold.
I recently tried VS Team mains + Alu Power Cross but it has too much power and not enough spin.
My actual setup is VS Team mains (25kg) + RTM Team cross (23kg).

Is there any other string combination which you would recommend me to try?

Thank you,
Francesco
 
#3
If you like gut/poly, a less expensive combo would be Tonic combined with a tension holding poly like 4G or Max Power. I agree that VS/Alu Power is awesome but it loses tension too quickly for the standard rec player. Hell, even tour players probably wouldn't use it if they had to pay for stringing.
 
#4
[1] Find a smooth round cross string. If poly, Proline II or similar. If SG, Babolat SpiralTek. You want something that will last as long as the mains.
[2] Use Lux NG, Wilson NG, Babolat Tonic or VS, Klip Legend if you must have gut mains. Thicker is better. Stay away from the 17 Ga gut.
[3] Use the softest multi you can find if longevity is NOT a concern. Use NXT Control, NXT Max, Head Velocity if string life is a priority.
[4] Consider using Ashaway Monogut ZX 16 Ga if the string interests you. Or use multis that have this polymer. It is soft and very durable.
 
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Sander001

Hall of Fame
#5
Hi all,

I am a 38 years old player (R6/R7 in Switzerland, US equivalent NTRP ~4.0) and I play tennis since about 5 years including tournaments with license.
I use (3x) Head Youtek Extreme Pro (350g strung, 310 mm balance point, grip L5). I like to play aggressive with spin, sometimes serve and volley. Decent flat and slice 1st serve, so-so kick serve and safe 2nd. Superb forehand, sufficient 1HBH.
Although my category and ranking are low I am quite sensitive to racket, material, weight, balance and strings. E.g. I found (without tool measurement) that my 3 Head racquets were all different.
I can also tell e difference of 0.5 Kg of a stringing job or 5 mm balance difference. Some guys make jokes about me and say I should focus on technique and condition...

I tried several strings over time but I still haven't found the holy grail. I never break strings because I replace them when they lose tension (after about 12h-15h).
Very soon I started using hybrids and I played for long time Luxilon Alu Power + Element. Since it was holding the tension not for long I started to experiment new combinations.
I tried Völkl Cyclone, Luxilon 4G, RPM Blast, ... Then I did the mistake of playing with natural gut and I never came back. The best for me was the Federer strings (Gut mains + Alu rough cross) but it is too expensive and lasts only a few hours.
I have my own power and the racquet is also powerful. I like a hybrid which gives me feeling, comfort, control, spin and tension hold.
I recently tried VS Team mains + Alu Power Cross but it has too much power and not enough spin.
My actual setup is VS Team mains (25kg) + RTM Team cross (23kg).

Is there any other string combination which you would recommend me to try?

Thank you,
Francesco
Have you given low tensions a good try? For 10+ years I used full polyester at 60+ lbs (27kg) and now I use much looser tension in the cross (45lbs, 20kg). I get much more spin, feel and the polyester stays good for much, much longer. I also use Kirschbaum and they come pre stretched which really helps too.

My full setup is in my signature
 
#6
Have you given low tensions a good try? For 10+ years I used full polyester at 60+ lbs (27kg) and now I use much looser tension in the cross (45lbs, 20kg). I get much more spin, feel and the polyester stays good for much, much longer. I also use Kirschbaum and they come pre stretched which really helps too.

My full setup is in my signature
So much difference of tension between main and cross? The max I've ever heard of and tried is 4 lbs (2 kg)...
 
#7
I was talking with a fellow player today who is enamored with the Federer setup. As an alternative he was thinking of NXT mains with ALU Rough crosses. I told him I thought that was still a pricy setup as it is $20 in string per racquet and if he is using the poly to stiffen up the NXT and get spin I was wondering if he should try Wilson Sensation mains and Wilson Revolve crosses which would be half the price at $10 in String.

I have never played with the setup but would that be viable option here as well?
 
#8
Sensation mains and Revolve crosses would be OK. Sensation is not as soft as NXT regular. Revolve should be OK though I am not sure if it is truly a pre-stretched poly.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
#9
So much difference of tension between main and cross? The max I've ever heard of and tried is 4 lbs (2 kg)...
The crosses are much shorter than the mains so the relative tensions will always be different. If you’re playing with 27kg all around, your crosses are effectively much tighter.

Also, polyester is much stiffer so it’s another reason to drop the tension.
 
#10
I was talking with a fellow player today who is enamored with the Federer setup. As an alternative he was thinking of NXT mains with ALU Rough crosses. I told him I thought that was still a pricy setup as it is $20 in string per racquet and if he is using the poly to stiffen up the NXT and get spin I was wondering if he should try Wilson Sensation mains and Wilson Revolve crosses which would be half the price at $10 in String.

I have never played with the setup but would that be viable option here as well?
What tension would you recommend? Today I play gut 25 kg (55 lbs) mains - poly 23 kg (51 lbs) cross (same gauge - 17)
 
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#12
Eventually I have come to the combo isospeed blackfire/cream. I'm same age as you and supposedly similar level, though I started playing six years ago.
 
#16
how long do they last for you? Do you replace them because you break them or due to tension loss?
This requires some longer explanation :D Before this hybrid I was using just full bed of blackfire 1.25. I've never broke it and was replacing when tension is lost. I could play for 12-16 hours. Then I decided to try the hybrid and got a reel of original isospeed package called X-Change Hybrid. Since then I've strung several string jobs. All of them broke at upper side close to the frame during a miss hit within 12 hours mark (and it was a broken blackfire main most of the time). Recently I strung using blackfire taken from separate bf reel. And this string job is alive yet. Will see how it lasts. I suspect that hybrid package has thinner blackfire string. My separate bf reel is 1.25.
 
#17
Sensation mains and Revolve crosses would be OK. Sensation is not as soft as NXT regular. Revolve should be OK though I am not sure if it is truly a pre-stretched poly.
Hi:

I agree. I am not a huge fan of Sensation. I am just thinking if one is going to cross a multi in a hybrid like this why not pay 1/2 as much for the multi and get nearly the life as one is using the poly cross to tame the power. For another alternative cross there is Tourna Big Hitter Silver which is stiffer than the Revolve.

I haven't played with any of these setups. Just wondering if they may present an alternative to CC.

Thanks
 
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#19
What tension would you recommend? Today I play gut 25 kg (55 lbs) mains - poly 23 kg (51 lbs) cross (same gauge - 17)
I would defer to some others on here as they are also wondering if perhaps there are better options then I proposed given I have not hit with the setup. I proposed another option a bit ago and if you head down this path why not start with the same tensions you are used to.
 
#20
Thank you all for the recommendations so far.

First of all I have to say that I am not able to test all the strings you guys have recommended. It is impossible to find them in Switzerland and I'd have to order from TW (EU) or TW (US). In this case the shipping costs would be unbearable in the long term.
Usually here I can only find the most famous brands and only the most advertised strings.

I recently tested a full bed of Alu Rough with low tension (21.5 kg/23 kg - 47.4 lbs/50.7 lbs) with 10% pre-stretching. I loved them. I was connected with the ball from the first shot, superb spin and feel. My slices and drop shots percentages increased considerably. I cannot comment the serve because I am currently recovering from golfer elbow and I just serve to send the ball to the other side, with no push. To get the most of out them I had to play every shot with a lot of commitment and power. I did not find them neither harsh on my arm nor low powered as some reviews wrote. I need to keep an eye on tension maintenance though. After 4h of play I measured 19 kg/15 kg. If the mains drop to 17 kg I'll have to restring it. I have the impression I will not hit the 10h mark but let's see.

So, I had my 2nd racket strung with a full bed of RPM Team, same tension as Alu Rough with 10% pre-stretching. However, this time I measured the tension right away and it showed me 25/19. I spoke with the guy who did the string job for me and he confirmed he used the right initial settings but that during pre-stretching the strings made a weird noise he never heard before. When I tried them on court in fact they were hard and low powered, as you would expect with such a high main tension with poly. Did you ever experience this with RPM Team when pre-stretching? According to TW, RPM should hold the tension longer, that's why I wanted to try them.

Do you have another full bed poly recommendation which plays similar to Alu Rough but it's cheaper with still a lot of spin and feel?
I know I can't have it all. If it plays well only for a few hours I'd expect at least a cheaper price to balance the frequent stringing costs.
Also, when I play multiple days tournaments, even though I own 3 rackets, they might not be enough to play till the end of the tournament.
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#21
Hi all,

I am a 38 years old player (R6/R7 in Switzerland, US equivalent NTRP ~4.0) and I play tennis since about 5 years including tournaments with license.
The best for me was the Federer strings (Gut mains + Alu rough cross) but it is too expensive and lasts only a few hours.
I find it hard to believe as my full bed natural gut lasts about 20h and we seem to be of similar levels.
 
#22
I find it hard to believe as my full bed natural gut lasts about 20h and we seem to be of similar levels.
The full bed gut could last 20h perhaps, but the hybrid with rough not.
With this hybrid, the rough lost a fair amount of tension after 8-10h and it was cutting the gut. There were grooves on the gut mains that did not allow anymore the strings to move and snap back.
I replaced them before they broke.
 
#23
RPM Team is stiffer and less lively then ALU Rough. It does hold tension better than ALU Rough and for a longer period. It can be useful if you had strung it 2-3 Kg less tension. For me ALU Rough lasted about 4-6 hours before tension loss made the racquet much less controllable.
 
#24
RPM Team is stiffer and less lively then ALU Rough. It does hold tension better than ALU Rough and for a longer period. It can be useful if you had strung it 2-3 Kg less tension. For me ALU Rough lasted about 4-6 hours before tension loss made the racquet much less controllable.
I'm considering trying Head Hawk 18 or Luxilon Element rough...
 

Rabe87

Professional
#25
Hi all,

I am a 38 years old player (R6/R7 in Switzerland, US equivalent NTRP ~4.0) and I play tennis since about 5 years including tournaments with license.
I use (3x) Head Youtek Extreme Pro (350g strung, 310 mm balance point, grip L5). I like to play aggressive with spin, sometimes serve and volley. Decent flat and slice 1st serve, so-so kick serve and safe 2nd. Superb forehand, sufficient 1HBH.
Although my category and ranking are low I am quite sensitive to racket, material, weight, balance and strings. E.g. I found (without tool measurement) that my 3 Head racquets were all different.
I can also tell e difference of 0.5 Kg of a stringing job or 5 mm balance difference. Some guys make jokes about me and say I should focus on technique and condition...

I tried several strings over time but I still haven't found the holy grail. I never break strings because I replace them when they lose tension (after about 12h-15h).
Very soon I started using hybrids and I played for long time Luxilon Alu Power + Element. Since it was holding the tension not for long I started to experiment new combinations.
I tried Völkl Cyclone, Luxilon 4G, RPM Blast, ... Then I did the mistake of playing with natural gut and I never came back. The best for me was the Federer strings (Gut mains + Alu rough cross) but it is too expensive and lasts only a few hours.
I have my own power and the racquet is also powerful. I like a hybrid which gives me feeling, comfort, control, spin and tension hold.
I recently tried VS Team mains + Alu Power Cross but it has too much power and not enough spin.
My actual setup is VS Team mains (25kg) + RTM Team cross (23kg).

Is there any other string combination which you would recommend me to try?

Thank you,
Francesco
Head Hawk is a great string but it's very low-powered and muted and judging from what you usually use it'll be a very different experience, you won't get as many freebies off your serve. I think finding a really nice poly that 'feels' right and has a decent power level is always a good cure for a string crisis, I've had many conundrums and you just have to trial a few strings you like the sound of, pick the one with the best feel and just mould your game around your new setup. For my two cents I would try Tecnifibre Red Code 16G at high tensions if you want outstanding control (comfort is questionable though), Yonex PTP120 for pace and spin and tension stability or just go a bit wild with something like a Solinco Barb Wire (similar to Tour Bite but twisted and way spinnier). Hope this helps.
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#26
The full bed gut could last 20h perhaps, but the hybrid with rough not.
With this hybrid, the rough lost a fair amount of tension after 8-10h and it was cutting the gut. There were grooves on the gut mains that did not allow anymore the strings to move and snap back.
I replaced them before they broke.

Ok, good to know (although you did replace them before they broke). I only used gut in the crosses with Alu Fluoro and it lasted long (well on my spare racquet)- after a couple of months I just cut it off, b/c I didn't like it.
 
#27
Have you given low tensions a good try? For 10+ years I used full polyester at 60+ lbs (27kg) and now I use much looser tension in the cross (45lbs, 20kg). I get much more spin, feel and the polyester stays good for much, much longer. I also use Kirschbaum and they come pre stretched which really helps too.

My full setup is in my signature
I recently tried Alu Rough at 48LB and I found it great. Will try to go lower.
 
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#28
Playing 18x20 frames for the last 6mths after playing 16x19 frames for decades. Researched the frames I used in college and open level tennis and they were 93” 18x20. When I was young I didn’t give all this much thought. The 18x20 has sent me into experimenting with strings. Primarily using full poly at 47-48lbs and strung a frame yesterday at 48/48 with Max Power 1.25/ Gosen 1.30. Plays excellent.
 
#29
The crosses are much shorter than the mains so the relative tensions will always be different. If you’re playing with 27kg all around, your crosses are effectively much tighter.

Also, polyester is much stiffer so it’s another reason to drop the tension.
Actually after pulling the crosses you end up with a higher tension on the mains if the mains and crosses are pulled at the same tension. About 30-35% tighter on the mains.
 
#30
I was talking with a fellow player today who is enamored with the Federer setup. As an alternative he was thinking of NXT mains with ALU Rough crosses. I told him I thought that was still a pricy setup as it is $20 in string per racquet and if he is using the poly to stiffen up the NXT and get spin I was wondering if he should try Wilson Sensation mains and Wilson Revolve crosses which would be half the price at $10 in String.

I have never played with the setup but would that be viable option here as well?
Sensation/Revolve is a fairly cost friendly set up but it will only last a few hours for me in a RF97. Now at $17 for Gut/poly and that is hard to beat in terms of a hybrid with longevity. Full poly is about $4 in my frames and lasts about the same amount of time. With three kids playing sports have opted for the cheapest set up.
 
#31
After some time experimenting, here's some feedback.
First of all I bought a stringing machine. Still learning but now I can do a job in about 50 min (2 piece method with Parnell's knot).

Back to the strings. I experimented a lot and now I tend to string a full bed of poly at about 21kg/46lbs for the mains and about 23kg/50lbs for the crosses.
I tried full bed Alu power and I did not fell in love with it. I had less feeling with the ball than with Alu rough. Since the price is the same I'd rather stick to Alu Rough.
Luxilon Element Rough was also a bit disappointing or perhaps I had too high expectations. The gauge 16 is too tick since I am used to 17 nowadays. Not much feeling and muted/dampened.
Wilson Revolve Spin is still on my racquet and have to make up my mind. But gut feeling tells me "meh".
I wanted to try Weiss Cannon Ultra Cable but I screwed up with the stringing job. So I'll have to order another set. Stay tuned.
Tecnifibre Black Code 4S Black 17G played one hour so far and I liked it. Had feeling with the ball, spin, serve, arm friendly. Let's see how long it holds the tension.
I bought and still have to string and try on court: Volkl Cyclone 16G and 18L, Ashaway Monogut ZX (to hybrid it with something), RPM Blast Rough.

Tournament season will start in 8 weeks so I need to hurry up and stick to a string/tension soon.
 
#32
I was in the midst of trying these strings until I got my three demo sets of Grapplesnake strings:





I was a dedicated user of Solstice Power on my previous racquet and will try it again. It had a really good feeling of pocketing, and the shape really grabbed the ball well and created a lot of spin. The major downside was it lost a fair amount of tension. So far in my new racquet, I've tried TourBite and Revolve Spin, both in 1.30 gauge, and Grapplesnake Cube. Between TourBite and Revolve Spin, TourBite is a more powerful and grippier string. Revolve Spin was an average spin in just about every way. I sort of kiddingly say that its best property is that the color exactly matches the accent colors on my Blade racquet. Probably the other above average thing about Revolve Spin is that it is a low density string that has good internal dampening. Mishits are not very jarring and it has a very muted ping when hitting the ball.

My son uses the 1.25 thickness Cyclone as his preferred string but I found that to be too powerful and springy in my racquet. I'm trying the 1.30 to see if the thicker gauge will help tame the power. Cyclone 1.25 is a good string - nice bite, nice comfort, lasts pretty long considering how hard my son hits, and a very good value.
 
#33
Some more fresh updates.
Yesterday I played my first tournament with the Tecnifibre Black Code 4S 17G.
I did not play well and I was not in top shape, but I noticed that every hit outside of the sweetspot was unforgiving. I'll give it another try, but one thing is clear: if you have a bad day, this string will make your match even more miserable. My elbow does not feel bad at all after about 3h play, so this string is not harsh.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
#34
Some more fresh updates.
Yesterday I played my first tournament with the Tecnifibre Black Code 4S 17G.
I did not play well and I was not in top shape, but I noticed that every hit outside of the sweetspot was unforgiving. I'll give it another try, but one thing is clear: if you have a bad day, this string will make your match even more miserable. My elbow does not feel bad at all after about 3h play, so this string is not harsh.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
The only elbow injury I have ever had was with that string. Strung at 55 in the old Speed Pro White/Black.
 
#35
The only elbow injury I have ever had was with that string. Strung at 55 in the old Speed Pro White/Black.
I strung it rather low 46/50 so perhaps that helped with the elbow. So far no consequences for my elbow (already injured in the past). I'll try a thinner gauge since I never broke a string. However, I need more forgiveness for misshit.
Once I get better at stringing I may switch again to a hybrid of gut/poly. But until then I'll keep experimenting with full poly at low tension.
 
#36
I strung it rather low 46/50 so perhaps that helped with the elbow. So far no consequences for my elbow (already injured in the past). I'll try a thinner gauge since I never broke a string. However, I need more forgiveness for misshit.
Once I get better at stringing I may switch again to a hybrid of gut/poly. But until then I'll keep experimenting with full poly at low tension.
Same tension around 47/47 or 48/48 may help with the stiffness of the stringbed. Down two pounds on the crosses can help with that as well. 48/46 or 50/48.
 
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#38
Same tension mostly because the mains come out about 30-35% higher than the crosses this way. Have gone 47/45 and 48/46 quite a bit playing with 18x20 frames.
 
#39
I recently tried with cross 2-4lbs lower than main but didn't like the feeling on a 16x19 frame. It felt not enough crisp.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
#40
Same tension around 47/47 or 48/48 may help with the stiffness of the stringbed. Down two pounds on the crosses can help with that as well. 48/46 or 50/48.
I recently tried with cross 2-4lbs lower than main but didn't like the feeling on a 16x19 frame. It felt not enough crisp.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
Same tension should do it. Adjust up or down with same tension. I go same tension on 16x19. RF97 @ 52 with TBHB7 1.25.
 
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#41
Just met recently a stringer who works at major events and advised me to:
1) string main and crosses at the same tension, especially when using a full bed poly
2) Try other strings like the TF or Yonex

Will do more tests and share my findings. In the meanwhile I am also testing 2 racquets. :)

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
#42
Just met recently a stringer who works at major events and advised me to:
1) string main and crosses at the same tension, especially when using a full bed poly
2) Try other strings like the TF or Yonex

Will do more tests and share my findings. In the meanwhile I am also testing 2 racquets. :)

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
Did he give any reason why?
 
#45
Did he give any reason why?
He answered that different main/cross tension is needed only for:
1) Hybrid, to avoid cutting the softest string too quickly
2) With some specific racquet models due to material and head shape
3) When using very high stringing tension, to protect the frame against deformation and avoid breakages

With full poly at low tension there's no need to do that.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
#46
Nothing wrong with your current set up unless you just want to change. I'm currently using VS Team and Tourbite Diamond rough in my Radical MPs. I've previously used VS Team with regular tourbite in my Extreme MPs
 
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