Poly-amorous: the quest for the perfect hybrid

Best cheap reel for softening poly in a hybrid


  • Total voters
    52

irulan

Rookie
Inspired by @galapagos's thread on his search for the perfect string, I decided to chronicle my journey 'holicking through every poly under the sun.

Current Tier List
1. Magical, would commit if it were cheaper
Head Hawk 18 (will also try Hawk Rough and Hawk Touch, though I found regular hawk to be soft enough)
Alu Power 17 (tried it in a Wilson Blade 18x20 demo and it was awesome, would love to see how it does in my VCPHDs)
Weiss Cannon Ultra Cable 17 (definitely the best shaped string I've played with, searching for the right cross. If I choose a shaped string, it'll probably be this one)

2. Excellent performance, but not a clear winner
Tier One Black Knight (too long of a break-in period, even at 18G)
Genesis Trionic (wonderful spin and pocketing, would like more feel and a bit more consistent response)
Kirschbaum Max Power (Amazing as a cross, wish I'd tried it full bed before returning the reel)

3. Would consider trying again in VCPHD (originally reviewed in EZone 98+)
Tier One Firewire / Durafluxx / Tour Status

4. Inexpensive and good
Pro's Pro Blackout (great for 2-3 sessions, cheap at $3.50 a stringjob)
OGSM 18 (fantastic cross string for budget self-stringing)

9. Wow that was bad
Tier One Strike Force Rip (dimples aren't for me)
Signum Pro Poly Plasma Hextreme Pure (amazingly bad tension maintenance, dropped 20% overnight)
RPM Blast 18 (expensive, and I just don't hit hard enough to get the fabled spin out of it)
Mayami Hepta Power (awful feel, hollow and tinny)
Volkl Cyclone Tour (horrendous sound, mediocre tension maintenance)
Volkl V-Square (ridiculously powerful, mediocre tension maintenance)


About Me:
Played lots of league tennis as a teen, but had to stop due to a combination of ProStaff / Alu Power-induced shoulder pain and a snowboarding rotator cuff injury. Returned recently to the sport and discovered that I LOVE SHAPED POLYs when my first 98+ came with HyperG 20.
I'd self-rate at high 4.0 / low 4.5 (revised to low 4.0 after a tourney and some match play, LOL). I play exclusively hardcourt, mostly outdoor; there's no clay in my area.

Sticks
2x Yonex EZone98+ (gifted to sibling who took a liking to them)
Prince Phantom Pro 93p 14x18 (heard that it was a spin monster and very string-forward; thought it'd help me tighten up form as a heavier, smaller player's racquet. Open string pattern is much more to my liking than the 18x20)
Prince Ripstick 300 (backup stick for when form is absent or if I start feeling arm discomfort)
2x Yonex VCore Pro HD (winner of the second round of demos, selected for being less forgiving and a forcing function to improve footwork/timing)

Game style/mindset:
Serve & volley. Big flat serve, big kick serve, big forehand. Working on improving the 1HBH, but I try to win points quickly off of a big serve or a big return.

Review Format:
Racquet
: Main | Cross at Main Tension | Cross Tension. All stringing done myself on a Gamma X-2, Yusuki method for mains and Yonex method for crosses. 98+1 and 98+2 indicate different racquets, as I was able to compare some strings side by side
Hrs Played:
Thought process behind choosing this string setup

Total: Score out of 20, with THWACK and LAUNCH normalized for values exceeding 5
THWACK: How consistently can I land the ball near the baseline. Values more than 5 indicate that I have to rein in my usual full stroke. Also includes some element of ball heaviness to receiver
LAUNCH: How does the launch angle play with my game? Low values indicate that I've got to work harder for topspin, high values indicate that I'm struggling at flat shot delivery.
SHAPE: How gnarly are the kick serves, slices and high looping topspin shots.
COMFORT: That perfect balance of plush, crisp and feel with no arm pain after 2 hours of match play.

String reviews are posted chronologically. I'll review crosses once I lock down a main string so that I can provide apples-to-apples impressions.


Strings Listed (29/50 complete)
Crosses (score out of 5)
Forten Sweet 17
[4.5/5] Gosen OG Sheep Micro 18
Gosen Umishima AK Pro CX 17
[4.5/5]Kirschbaum Max Power 17
[3/5] Prince Original Synthetic Gut 16 White
[4.5/5] Tier One Ghostwire 19
[4.5/5]Tecnifibre Pro Red Code Wax
[2/5] Wilson Sensation 16
Wilson Revolve Spin 17 Lime
[1/5] Yonex Rexis Speed 17

Mains [score out of 20, linked to relevant post]
[14/20] Babolat RPM Blast 18
[15/20] Diadem Solstice Power
[13.5/20] Dunlop Black Widow 18
[17.5/20] Genesis Trionic 18

[15/20] Genesis Hexonic 18
[19.5/20] Head Hawk 18
[13/20] Isospeed Baseline Control
[16/20] Kirschbaum Max Power 18
Mayami Big Spin 17
[12/20] Mayami Hepta Power 17L
Mayami Magic Twist 17L
[15/20] Mayami Tour Hex 17L
[15/20] Pro's Pro Blackout 17
[12/20] Signum Pro Poly Plasma Pure Hextreme 16L
[11/20] Signum Pro Yellow Jacket 17L
[15/20] Solinco Confidential 18
[16/20] Solinco Hyper G 20
[17/20] Solinco TourBite Soft 18
[16/20] Taan Fusion 5600
[14/20] Tecnifibre Ice Code 17
[18/20] Tier One Black Knight 16
[16.5/20] Tier One Black Knight 18
[14/20] Tier One Durafluxx 18

Tier One Strike Force RIP 18
[17/20] Tier One Firewire 18
[14/20] Tier One Tour Status 18
[11/20] Topspin Cyber Blue 17L

Toroline Absolute 17
Toroline Caviar 17
[12/20] Toroline Wasabi 17 (Green/Pink/Purple)
Tourna Big Hitter Silver 7 Tour
[11.5/20] Volkl Cyclone Tour 18
Volkl Psycho Hybrid 17 (Cyclone | Power Fiber II, might split and use the strings separately)
[13.5/20] Volkl V-Square 19
[19/20] WeissCannon Ultra Cable 17
[13/20] Yonex Polytour Pro 17

Deprioritized (Unlikely to be candidates for main string)
Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution 17
Luxilon 4G 17
Luxilon Natural Gut 1.25
[12/20] Mayami Hit Pro 17
Natural Gut Wholesale V5 Black 16
WeissCannon Red Ghost 17

Strings I'm curious about but haven't bought yet
Grapplesnake lineup (Liquid, Irukandji, Cube hybrids)
MSV Focus Hex
 
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irulan

Rookie
EZ98+1: Hyper G 20 at 51/51 (strung by TW)
Hrs Played: 8
Picked the Yonex EZone 98+ after demos and went with the thinnest gauge of Hyper G because I heard that thin gauges are better for feel / spin while being more gentle on the arm.

Total: 16/20
THWACK: 6.5
(more power than I wanted)
LAUNCH: 5 (not a scientific rating, but didn't have an opinion on launch angle at the time)
SHAPE: 4 (not scientific either, but I didn't get any ridiculous looping or slices out of the hyper G)
COMFORT: 3.5 (stiff-ish even at 20g fullbed)

Thoughts:
My first experience with shaped poly. Holy cow the spin was awesome. I found myself wanting just a little less power, and perhaps a slightly softer impact.

EZ98+2: Genesis Trionic 18 | OGSG at 52/54
Hrs Played: 7
Bought another 98+ used. First time stringing racquets in years and Trionic was the cheapest string in the bin.

Total: 17.5/20
THWACK: 3
(Had to work to hit deep shots, everything was landing at the T on a "normal" swing)
LAUNCH: 5 (Great depth on looping shots, able to flatten it out fairly easily when needed)
SHAPE: 5 (Ball went where I wanted it to go)
COMFORT: 4.5 (super comfortable after break-in. Great pocketing, plush but not mushy)

Thoughts: Absolutely plush, great ball pocketing. Really easy to deliver topspin, but I was also able to crank flat winners with confidence. Wanted just a little more power, as I was hitting the service T consistently from the baseline. Might be able to dial it in with a lower tension or a more lively cross.

EZ98+1: V-Square 19 | OGSG at 51/53
Hrs Played: 3
Hyper G lost too much tension, and I wanted more power than the Trionic. Word on the street was that V-Sq had bite and power.

Total: 13.5/20
THWACK: 8
(SAIL, by AWOLNATION)
LAUNCH: 6 (Quite launchy, potentially erratic but more likely I'm just bad)
SHAPE: 3 (Control was lackluster, in part due to the extremely high power)
COMFORT: 3.5 (reasonably comfortable, but somewhat pingy and not great pocketing)

Thoughts:
Holy mother of launch, this string was super powerful. Decent spin, but definitely need to increase tension for future tests.

EZ98+1: T1 Firewire 18 | Ghostwire 19 at 51/53
Hours Played: 10
Didn't like V-Square, was curious about Tier One since the FireWire Boost combo seemed to be well loved. It is well loved for good reason

Total: 17/20
THWACK: 6
(could just use a little less power)
LAUNCH: 6 (seemed to be occasional erratic angle on volleys/flat shots)
SHAPE: 5 (ball went where I wanted it to go mostly)
COMFORT: 4 (reasonably comfortable, more lively than Genesis and not as great pocketing)

Thoughts:
Not as comfortable as the Trionic, but still excellent ball shaping. Launch angle slightly higher than the Trionic, and significantly more powerful, which was a surprise switching to poly crosses from syngut.

EZ98+2: Dunlop Black Widow 18 | Ghostwire 19 at 51/53
Hours Played: 4
Does the legendary Black Widow deliver more spin than Firewire? No, no it does not.

Total: 13.5/20, -1 for breaking stringing difficulty
THWACK: 7
(could just use a little less power)
LAUNCH: 5 (No erratic deflections, consistent launch angle)
SHAPE: 4.5 (Firewire was better for slices / kick)
COMFORT: 2 (stiff, even with the GW to soften it up)

Thoughts:
Much more powerful than Firewire. Absolute pain to string, first halfset broke while stringing mains. Took an hour to break in and started bagging out on me by hour 4.

EZ98+2: Topspin Cyber Blue 17L | Prince OGSG at 51/53
Hours Played: 1
Finished testing Black Widow and knew I wouldn't be using it as a string, so onto the next one.

Total: 11/20
THWACK: 3
(not particularly powerful, actually pretty good control)
LAUNCH: 1 (I definitely prefer shaped/edged polys)
SHAPE: 3 (Good control, but not as much free spin)
COMFORT: 4 (reasonably comfortable)

Thoughts:
I definitely want the bite from shaped strings. Control was decent and Cyber Blue was moderately comfortable, but it was quickly obvious that this was not my cup of tea.

EZ98+2: Volkl Cyclone Tour 18 | Prince OGSG at 51/53
Hours Played: 3
I don't like smooth polys. What about twisted, shaped polys?

Total: 11.5/20
THWACK: 5
(reasonably powered)
LAUNCH: 2.5 (exceptionally mediocre bite for a twisted shaped string)
SHAPE: 2.5 (nowhere near the free access to spin that I expected, and at this point had become accustomed to)
COMFORT: 1.5 (weird tinny sound initially, terrible pocketing. Arm was fine, but brain hated it)

Thoughts:
VCT 18 bagged out really quickly on me within 3 hours and became super launchy as the syngut became the dominant feel. I couldn't stand the tinny sound, but didn't have time to restring between matches.

EZ98+2: Signum Pro Yellow Jacket 17L | Prince OGSG at 51/53
Hours Played: 1
Let's go back to square, sharp poly strings after the disappointment of VCT

Total: 11/20
THWACK: 3
(reasonably powered)
LAUNCH: 4
SHAPE: 2
COMFORT: 2

Thoughts
:
An entirely unremarkable square poly. Sharp edges without bite, polyester stiffness without control. Moderate power, mediocre spin, poor comfort, ****ty pocketing. Perhaps I didn't break it in enough, but I don't expect edged strings to get sharper over time.


EZ98+1: Tier One Tour Status 18 | Prince OGSG at 52/52
Hours Played: 5
Eeny meeny miny moe, which string after signum pro

Total: 14/20
THWACK: 6
(slightly more power than I needed, but fixable with tension)
LAUNCH: 7 (much higher launch angle than I wanted, struggled to put away flat smashes without sending them into the net/floor)
SHAPE: 3 (I'd never served into my own service box until I used this string)
COMFORT: 4 (quite comfortable, just not as plush as Trionic)

Thoughts:
Higher launch angle than I want, flat winner attempts that I’d expect to land near the line were consistently 3 feet out. Sharp bite on string started wearing off around hour 3

93P 14x18: Tier One Tour Status 18 | Signum Pro Yellow Jacket 17L at 52/52
Hours Played: 3
Can the Tour Status be tamed with a stiff poly cross? Will I like full-bed poly?

Total: 8/20
THWACK: 3
(Could be the racquet, could be the tension, but I had to swing to reliably hit farther than the T)
LAUNCH: 2 (Where'd my ball bite go? Had to go even more western to reliably curve balls over the net / into the court)
SHAPE: 2 (Great for hitting flat, but I'd hope to have access to spin with such an open string pattern and TWO shaped polys)
COMFORT: 1 (Ouch)

Thoughts:
No, I don’t like full-bed stiff poly. Definitely tamed, but this setup wasn’t fun at all. Especially stiff in 50F weather.

EZ98+2: Tecnifibre Ice Code 17 at 50/50
Hours Played: 3
Got Ice Code on sale, and somebody offered to sell me a reel for cheap so I had to try

Total: 14/20
THWACK: 5
(Reliable, consistent power)
LAUNCH: 3 (Unsurprising, given that this is a round, slick string)
SHAPE: 3 (Actually able to get a decent amount of spin with significant effort, but I like free stuff)
COMFORT: 3 (Great feedback and excellent for touch shots, but significantly more vibration. Had to add a dampener)

Thoughts:
Significantly more enjoyable than the Cyber Blue, but I strongly preferred the Tour Status setup over this one. My brother played 5 or 6 hours with this racquet (coming from a Hyper Pro Staff 6.0 with HG16) and absolutely loved the control he got out of it.
 
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irulan

Rookie
Thanks for the mention my friend! :) ice code is on my list ! :) what was wrong with it ?
Nothing wrong with the ice code! It's a great control string, it just doesn't compare against aggressively edged poly when it comes to cranking topspin / backspin. Definitely the best feel/feedback of any string I've used so far and it's wonderfully slick. I might get another set to test it as a cross-string after I settle on a main, as it could definitely stack up against Ghostwire / OGSM even considering the higher price point.
 

beltsman

Legend
EZ98+1: Hyper G 20 at 51/51 (fresh from TW)
Hrs Played: 8
Picked the Yonex EZone 98+ after demos and went with the thinnest gauge of Hyper G because I heard that thin gauges are better for feel / spin while being more gentle on the arm.

Total: 16/20
THWACK: 6.5
(more power than I wanted)
LAUNCH: 5 (not a scientific rating, but didn't have an opinion on launch angle at the time)
SHAPE: 4 (not scientific either, but I didn't get any ridiculous looping or slices out of the hyper G)
COMFORT: 3.5 (stiff-ish even at 20g fullbed)

Thoughts:
My first experience with shaped poly. Holy cow the spin was awesome. I found myself wanting just a little less power, and perhaps a slightly softer impact.

EZ98+2: Genesis Trionic 18 | OGSG at 52/54
Hrs Played: 7
Bought another 98+ used. First time stringing racquets in years and Trionic was the cheapest string in the bin.

Total: 17.5/20
THWACK: 3
(Had to work to hit deep shots, everything was landing at the T on a "normal" swing)
LAUNCH: 5 (Great depth on looping shots, able to flatten it out fairly easily when needed)
SHAPE: 5 (Ball went where I wanted it to go)
COMFORT: 4.5 (super comfortable after break-in. Great pocketing, plush but not mushy)

Thoughts: Absolutely plush, great ball pocketing. Really easy to deliver topspin, but I was also able to crank flat winners with confidence. Wanted just a little more power, as I was hitting the service T consistently from the baseline. Might be able to dial it in with a lower tension or a more lively cross.

EZ98+1: V-Square 19 | OGSG at 51/53
Hrs Played: 3
Hyper G lost too much tension, and I wanted more power than the Trionic. Word on the street was that V-Sq had bite and power.

Total: 13.5/20
THWACK: 8
(SAIL, by AWOLNATION)
LAUNCH: 6 (Quite launchy, potentially erratic but more likely I'm just bad)
SHAPE: 3 (Control was lackluster, in part due to the extremely high power)
COMFORT: 3.5 (reasonably comfortable, but somewhat pingy and not great pocketing)

Thoughts:
Holy mother of launch, this string was super powerful. Decent spin, but definitely need to increase tension for future tests.

EZ98+1: T1 Firewire 18 | Ghostwire 19 at 51/53
Hours Played: 10
Didn't like V-Square, was curious about Tier One since the FireWire Boost combo seemed to be well loved. It is well loved for good reason

Total: 17/20
THWACK: 6
(could just use a little less power)
LAUNCH: 6 (seemed to be occasional erratic angle on volleys/flat shots)
SHAPE: 5 (ball went where I wanted it to go mostly)
COMFORT: 4 (reasonably comfortable, more lively than Genesis and not as great pocketing)

Thoughts:
Not as comfortable as the Trionic, but still excellent ball shaping. Launch angle slightly higher than the Trionic, and significantly more powerful, which was a surprise switching to poly crosses from syngut.

EZ98+2: Dunlop Black Widow 18 | Ghostwire 19 at 51/53
Hours Played: 4
Does the legendary Black Widow deliver more spin than Firewire? No, no it does not.

Total: 13.5/20, -1 for breaking stringing difficulty
THWACK: 7
(could just use a little less power)
LAUNCH: 5 (No erratic deflections, consistent launch angle)
SHAPE: 4.5 (Firewire was better for slices / kick)
COMFORT: 2 (stiff, even with the GW to soften it up)

Thoughts:
Much more powerful than Firewire. Absolute pain to string, first halfset broke while stringing mains. Took an hour to break in and started bagging out on me by hour 4.

EZ98+2: Topspin Cyber Blue 17L | Prince OGSG at 51/53
Hours Played: 1
Finished testing Black Widow and knew I wouldn't be using it as a string, so onto the next one.

Total: 11/20
THWACK: 3
(not particularly powerful, actually pretty good control)
LAUNCH: 1 (I definitely prefer shaped/edged polys)
SHAPE: 3 (Good control, but not as much free spin)
COMFORT: 4 (reasonably comfortable)

Thoughts:
I definitely want the bite from shaped strings. Control was decent and Cyber Blue was moderately comfortable, but it was quickly obvious that this was not my cup of tea.

EZ98+2: Volkl Cyclone Tour 18 | Prince OGSG at 51/53
Hours Played: 3
I don't like smooth polys. What about twisted, shaped polys?

Total: 11.5/20
THWACK: 5
(reasonably powered)
LAUNCH: 2.5 (exceptionally mediocre bite for a twisted shaped string)
SHAPE: 2.5 (nowhere near the free access to spin that I expected, and at this point had become accustomed to)
COMFORT: 1.5 (weird tinny sound initially, terrible pocketing. Arm was fine, but brain hated it)

Thoughts:
VCT 18 bagged out really quickly on me within 3 hours and became super launchy as the syngut became the dominant feel. I couldn't stand the tinny sound, but didn't have time to restring between matches.

EZ98+2: Signum Pro Yellow Jacket 17L | Prince OGSG at 51/53
Hours Played: 1
Let's go back to square, sharp poly strings after the disappointment of VCT

Total: 11/20
THWACK: 3
(reasonably powered)
LAUNCH: 4
SHAPE: 2
COMFORT: 2

Thoughts
:
An entirely unremarkable square poly. Sharp edges without bite, polyester stiffness without control. Moderate power, mediocre spin, poor comfort, ****ty pocketing. Perhaps I didn't break it in enough, but I don't expect edged strings to get sharper over time.


EZ98+1: Tier One Tour Status 18 | Prince OGSG at 52/52
Hours Played: 5
Eeny meeny miny moe, which string follows signum pro (yellow jacket)

Total: 14/20
THWACK: 6
(slightly more power than I needed, but fixable with tension)
LAUNCH: 7 (much higher launch angle than I wanted, struggled to put away flat smashes without sending them into the net/floor)
SHAPE: 3 (I'd never served into my own service box until I used this string)
COMFORT: 4 (quite comfortable, just not as plush as Trionic)

Thoughts:
Higher launch angle than I want, flat winner attempts that I’d expect to land near the line were consistently 3 feet out. Sharp bite on string started wearing off around hour 3

93P 14x18: Tier One Tour Status 18 | Signum Pro Yellow Jacket 17L at 52/52
Hours Played: 3
Can the Tour Status be tamed with a stiff poly cross? Will I like full-bed poly?

Total: 8/20
THWACK: 3
(Could be the racquet, could be the tension, but I had to swing to reliably hit farther than the T)
LAUNCH: 2 (Where'd my ball bite go? Had to go even more western to reliably curve balls over the net / into the court)
SHAPE: 2 (Great for hitting flat, but I'd hope to have access to spin with such an open string pattern and TWO shaped polys)
COMFORT: 1 (Ouch)

Thoughts:
No, I don’t like full-bed stiff poly. Definitely tamed, but this setup wasn’t fun at all. Especially stiff in 50F weather.

EZ98+2: Tecnifibre Ice Code 17 at 50/50
Hours Played: 3
Got Ice Code on sale, and somebody offered to sell me a reel for cheap so I had to try

Total: 14/20
THWACK: 5
(Reliable, consistent power)
LAUNCH: 3 (Unsurprising, given that this is a round, slick string)
SHAPE: 3 (Actually able to get a decent amount of spin with significant effort, but I like free stuff)
COMFORT: 3 (Great feedback and excellent for touch shots, but significantly more vibration. Had to add a dampener)

Thoughts:
Significantly more enjoyable than the Cyber Blue, but I strongly preferred the Tour Status setup over this one. My brother played 5 or 6 hours with this racquet (coming from a Hyper Pro Staff 6.0 with HG16) and absolutely loved the control he got out of it.
Good analysis. I would say to try Firewire 17 with GW 19 or Tour Status with GW.
 

irulan

Rookie
Good analysis. I would say to try Firewire 17 with GW 19 or Tour Status with GW.
Definitely will do in 3-4 months if there isn't a clear winner by the time I get through the next 20 strings lol. Ghostwire is a wonderful slick poly, though it's gotta be better than PRCW for me to take a second pass through the TierOne sampler


Next up: figuring out if I should keep the reel of Max Power Rough or not.
Big assumption: Max Power 18 will be similar enough to Max Power Rough 17 in performance for me to make a decision on the reel based on how the set plays.



Phantom 93P: Max Power 18 | OGSG at 52/48
EZ98+1: Volkl V-Square 19 | Max Power 18 at 53/49



V-Square is a known quantity, so hopefully increasing the tension and swapping in Max Power for crosses will make the power manageable while also bringing in additional control. We'll see how well it spins, and what it costs in terms of comfort.
I'm about to run out of OGSG, would love poll votes on what string I should buy to use as cheap crosses.


Max Power stringing impressions
Nice and smooth, minor coil memory and some tiny kinking from the rotational grippers. Almost no stretching when pulling crosses, I counted 5 ticks on the dropweight compared to 11-13 when using OGSG.
I'm trying something where I slip in an extra bit of junk string into the Parnell knot to make it a littler fatter, and hopefully not crush my tie-off grommets as much, though it looks like the 93P grommets are pretty fragile. Already have a cracked grommet on a regular cross :cry:

 
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blai212

Hall of Fame
Dang OP, I’m going through same thing...it’s like you just told my life story. One thing to note, Dunlop Black widow and volkl cyclone tour are meant to be used as 16g mains. The bagging out that you get after a few hrs is normal for a soft 18g copoly. The setup that I have found the best is ~125 mains/~120 crosses. Currently Mayami Tour hex 1.23/SPPP 1.18, Tier1 Black Knight 1.23/SPPP 1.18, SPPP hextreme 1.20/SPPP 1.18 are among my favorites strung at 38/36 in my control frames. I was using the yonex vcp97 310g weighted with wilson shock shield grip but 1 out of every 5 shots would be a jarring mishit that send a thunderbolt of shock through my arm/elbow but then I found the Pure strike 98 16x19 3rd gen which has bigger sweetspot, easy pop/soft feel, and sufficient plow through on heavy incoming balls.
 

irulan

Rookie
Dang OP, I’m going through same thing...it’s like you just told my life story. One thing to note, Dunlop Black widow and volkl cyclone tour are meant to be used as 16g mains. The bagging out that you get after a few hrs is normal for a soft 18g copoly. The setup that I have found the best is ~125 mains/~120 crosses. Currently Mayami Tour hex 1.23/SPPP 1.18, Tier1 Black Knight 1.23/SPPP 1.18, SPPP hextreme 1.20/SPPP 1.18 are among my favorites strung at 38/36 in my control frames. I was using the yonex vcp97 310g weighted with wilson shock shield grip but 1 out of every 5 shots would be a jarring mishit that send a thunderbolt of shock through my arm/elbow but then I found the Pure strike 98 16x19 3rd gen which has bigger sweetspot, easy pop/soft feel, and sufficient plow through on heavy incoming balls.
Sounds like SPPP 1.18 works great for you as a poly cross! Have you tried the Pure (SPPPP?) version in white, or are you using the orange SPPP?

I've been using the 18G in mains with the hope of getting free power / spin / feel out of the thinner gauge at the expense of durability / tension maintenance.

I don't mind stringing every week, but do you think I should try VCT and Black Widow again in 16 gauge? I'm skeptical that they'd change drastically in character at thicker gauge
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
Sounds like SPPP 1.18 works great for you as a poly cross! Have you tried the Pure (SPPPP?) version in white, or are you using the orange SPPP?

I've been using the 18G in mains with the hope of getting free power / spin / feel out of the thinner gauge at the expense of durability / tension maintenance.

I don't mind stringing every week, but do you think I should try VCT and Black Widow again in 16 gauge? I'm skeptical that they'd change drastically in character at thicker gauge
I have tried SPPP pure in hextreme, supposedly slightly softer feel at the expense less playability duration but I haven noticed much, 1.18 only comes in orange. VCT/BW will feel more wholesome at the thicker gauge and the bagging out effect will be much more delayed. One reason I love SPPP as a cross is because of tension maintenance. Thin round cross will provide softer more elastic feeling string bed. Usually I like ~125main/~120 cross for my semi dense 16x19 frames. Bigger frame/open pattern -> thicker strings. VCT/BW were both solid but only as mains. (and boy do I hate to string thick shaped strings in the crosses). Also keep in mind that thicker strings will be heavier resulting in a weighted hoop sensation. (Imagine putting 1-2g lead tape on your strings). Tour hex and black knight 123 work great as a lighter weight spin/arm friendly main for me.
 

irulan

Rookie
I have tried SPPP pure in hextreme, supposedly slightly softer feel at the expense less playability duration but I haven noticed much, 1.18 only comes in orange. VCT/BW will feel more wholesome at the thicker gauge and the bagging out effect will be much more delayed. One reason I love SPPP as a cross is because of tension maintenance. Thin round cross will provide softer more elastic feeling string bed. Usually I like ~125main/~120 cross for my semi dense 16x19 frames. Bigger frame/open pattern -> thicker strings. VCT/BW were both solid but only as mains. (and boy do I hate to string thick shaped strings in the crosses). Also keep in mind that thicker strings will be heavier resulting in a weighted hoop sensation. (Imagine putting 1-2g lead tape on your strings). Tour hex and black knight 123 work great as a lighter weight spin/arm friendly main for me.
Hmm, given that I found both VCT and BW to be on the less comfortable side even at 18g in hybrids, I think I might skip the 16g test. I'm definitely going to pick up some SPPP and SPPPh though!

Tour Hex 1.23 in the pile, I'm very excited to try it after I finish the Kirschbaum Max Power 18 tests
 

irulan

Rookie
Finally finished moving and spent some time on the court with the Max Power setup. First impressions: wow this is a great string!

93P MPR 18 x OGSG: Firm, solid contacts on full swings, great spin for a smooth poly. Great for full cuts, but launch angle still a little low for the wristier, brushier forehands. Might be that I've just got shaped poly expectations.

EZ98+1 V-Square 19 x MPR 18: The MPR does a pretty good job of taming the V-Square. It slides fantastically on the thin square string, and I'm not seeing any notching after two hours of hard match play. It's not particularly plush, but it's not jarring either. I do like the Max Power as a cross string, but I don't really need a poly just to use as a cross. If I didn't already buy a reel of PRCW, I would absolutely keep this string. Guess it's time to return the reel. :rolleyes:

Sales this week have been kind to me: picked up a reel of Sensation Control for $75 and two sets of Luxilon Gut 1.25 on sale, I'm looking forward to trying gut/poly hybrids once I land on a string setup and can keep gut in until it breaks.
 

irulan

Rookie
93P 14x18: Kirschbaum Max Power 18 | OGSG at 52/48
Hours Played: 4
Should I keep the reel of Max Power Rough 17? Will I finally like this smooth poly?

Total: 16/20
THWACK: 4.5
MPR lives up to its reputation as a low-powered string. I could have used just a tad more power, but overall this was pretty darn close to what I wanted
LAUNCH: 2.5 Decent spin, but I think this is the final trial of non-edged polys for me. I didn't have as much confidence in my 1HBH without the ball bite I'm used to.
SHAPE: 5 Excellent control, great for finesse shots. This was the best shot placement of any string I've used so far, but only when I took full, complete swings. No shortcuts to see here.
COMFORT: 4 Firm but not harsh. Pretty comfortable ball pocketing, and I quite liked the sound.

Thoughts:
Kirschbaum Max Power is a great string, especially when it comes to tension maintenance. The feel of the 93p was virtually unchanged over the entire 4hr playtest, and there was little to no stretch while pulling tension. However, it's not what I'm looking for in a main, and the $100 on a reel is probably better spent somewhere else.




next on deck: 93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Pink | OGSG at 45/45
Will dropping my tension by 7lbs finally deliver the spin that was promised from this racquet?

At this point, I'm fairly confident in my preference for edged strings in my mains. Any remaining polys without sharp edges will probably be held in reserve for wacky color options / cross testing
 
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irulan

Rookie
Second impressions on V-Square 19 x MPR 18:
I'm really, really loving this setup. Four hours in, the spin is monstrous, I feel great about the control, my flat serves are big and it's still comfortable. No strings out of place yet, no discernible notching on the V-SQ or the MP18.

Initial impressions 93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Pink | OGSG at 45/45:
Decent spin, supremely comfortable. Perhaps dropping tension to 45 was what was necessary to finally unlock the promised spin from this racquet, although it's still substantially below that of the EZ+. However, syngut really isn't working for me at low tensions, so I cut out the OGSG after an hour and swapped in some Toroline Wasabi Horseradish for that sweet sweet full-bed action.

93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Ginger | Toroline Wasabi Horseradish at 45/45:


At this point, I think my wrist/elbow/shoulder can handle full-bed poly under 50, so I might test more full-bed setups. I wasn't planning on keeping the reel of Max Power Rough, but it's looking more and more likely now...

My ripstick has finally arrived, and I put in the opposite set of Wasabi in for first impression. Stringing O-ports is such a pain, I have no idea if I'm getting good tension on the starting crosses :mad:. I'm hoping that 50lbs full poly is adequate control / not too much power given the step up from 93in to 100in. That said, I have the 98+ at 52/48 so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Ripstick: Toroline Wasabi Horseradish | Toroline Wasabi Ginger at 50/50:

 

taydbear7

Semi-Pro
Whoa, this looks like fun. I'm along for the ride. Also I used to play with the 93P but sold it. Should never have done that.

I have Signum Pro Megaforce I can cut from my reel and send it to you if you like.
 

irulan

Rookie
Whoa, this looks like fun. I'm along for the ride. Also I used to play with the 93P but sold it. Should never have done that.

I have Signum Pro Megaforce I can cut from my reel and send it to you if you like.
Super appreciate the offer! Would you recommend it as a cross? I think I'm pretty set on shaped mains, but jury is still out on shaped crosses. How do you like the Megaforce?
 

ron schaap

Hall of Fame
Second impressions on V-Square 19 x MPR 18:
I'm really, really loving this setup. Four hours in, the spin is monstrous, I feel great about the control, my flat serves are big and it's still comfortable. No strings out of place yet, no discernible notching on the V-SQ or the MP18.

Initial impressions 93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Pink | OGSG at 45/45:
Decent spin, supremely comfortable. Perhaps dropping tension to 45 was what was necessary to finally unlock the promised spin from this racquet, although it's still substantially below that of the EZ+. However, syngut really isn't working for me at low tensions, so I cut out the OGSG after an hour and swapped in some Toroline Wasabi Horseradish for that sweet sweet full-bed action.

93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Ginger | Toroline Wasabi Horseradish at 45/45:


At this point, I think my wrist/elbow/shoulder can handle full-bed poly under 50, so I might test more full-bed setups. I wasn't planning on keeping the reel of Max Power Rough, but it's looking more and more likely now...

My ripstick has finally arrived, and I put in the opposite set of Wasabi in for first impression. Stringing O-ports is such a pain, I have no idea if I'm getting good tension on the starting crosses :mad:. I'm hoping that 50lbs full poly is adequate control / not too much power given the step up from 93in to 100in. That said, I have the 98+ at 52/48 so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Ripstick: Toroline Wasabi Horseradish | Toroline Wasabi Ginger at 50/50:

Are you sure you strung your racquets with tennis strings and not with vegetables?
 

irulan

Rookie
Are you sure you strung your racquets with tennis strings and not with vegetables?
They taste the same when I dip them in ranch, so I'm not really sure.

Jokes aside, Toroline calls them Wasabi Green and Wasabi Pink officially, but that seems like a missed opportunity given that the pink is basically the color of sushi ginger and most wasabi is actually "wasabi" / dyed horseradish. There's also a deeper purple that they call pomegranate, but I've never seen pomegranate in sushi....
 

Folsom_Stringer_Musa

Professional
Good thread. Looks like you are trying all thin gauge\shaped polys.
I Genesis Trionic 18 vs V-Square - which one is more powerful?

I tried v-Square but did not like in my first trial. I am not a big fan of Volkl strings.
 

irulan

Rookie
Good thread. Looks like you are trying all thin gauge\shaped polys.
I Genesis Trionic 18 vs V-Square - which one is more powerful?

I tried v-Square but did not like in my first trial. I am not a big fan of Volkl strings.
Trionic-18 is actually pretty dead and low-powered. V-Square is significantly more powerful. I've tried Cyclone, VCT and v-square twice now. Haven't been a fan, although the V-Square has been quite nice when crossed with Kirschbaum Max Power.

EZ98+1 V-Square 19 x MPR 18:
I absolutely loved this setup. Great spin, consistent power, excellent touch shots. I know that returning the reel of Max Power Rough is probably the right thing to do, but I'm definitely going to come back to Kirschbaum strings after testing through the rest of the bin. Full writeup when I cut it out, but the rating as of now is at least 18.5/20 (4.5, 5, 5, 4).

93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Ginger | Toroline Wasabi Horseradish at 45/45:
Wow I f***ing hate the sound of this string. It's twangy and pingy, like the old Big Banger. It doesn't go away with a dampener, and it doesn't really get better after an hour of play. Spin, pocketing and power are all honestly quite decent. It's comfortable full bed, but I just can't stand the sound it makes.

Ripstick: Toroline Wasabi Horseradish | Toroline Wasabi Ginger at 50/50:
This stick is a spin monster. Oh man, everything jumps so much with this, even though Wasabi is a pretty middle-of-the-pack shaped poly when it comes to spin. I definitely need to crank up tension a few pounds, and this setup really doesn't do the racquet justice. I'll give this one more set of match play before cutting it out.

Somebody asked for a comparison of the Ripstick against the old O3 Tour (strung with Trionic 18 | OGSG at 50 lbs, which is probably my favorite string setup so far (tied with V-Square / Max Power).

Spin: Ripstick >>> O3 Tour
Touch volleys: O3 Tour > Ripstick
Power: Ripstick slightly more, though both were very controllable
Control / Feel: Ripstick especially when going full blast forehand/backhand. It felt so good to just swing for the fences with my backhand and still watch the ball loop in comfortably. Hit some great putaway flat shots with the Ripstick too
 

irulan

Rookie
I just put V-Square on a flexible frame. This is the last trial on V-Square. It better come up comfy and easy.
I hope so! It was okay in hybrid with a syngut and it was great in a hybrid with stiffer poly, I hope this trial is at least playable / enjoyable for you even if it doesn't become your preferred string.
 

Folsom_Stringer_Musa

Professional
I hope so! It was okay in hybrid with a syngut and it was great in a hybrid with stiffer poly, I hope this trial is at least playable / enjoyable for you even if it doesn't become your preferred string.
It played ok and nothing exceptional. I will keep the string until it breaks or dies from playing.
I see no reason to switch from TBS/HGS.
 

irulan

Rookie
It played ok and nothing exceptional. I will keep the string until it breaks or dies from playing.
I see no reason to switch from TBS/HGS.
My V-Square died after the 5th hour, everything started sailing and the sound of the strings also changed. I cut it out and replaced it with a Head Hawk 18 | OGSG hybrid at 52/54, as my brother has taken a liking to my EZones and he prefers round, control poly.

EZ98+1: V-Square 19 x MPR 18 at 53/49:
Hours Played: 5
Will Max Power be able to tame the wildness that is Volkl V-Square?

Total: 18.5/20
THWACK: 4.5
Raising the tension on V-Sq and mixing in stiff mains did the trick for reining in the power. Basically perfect, but docking half a point for short lifespan
LAUNCH: 5 Perfect amount of spin for my game. I can crank full-western for big loops or just slap it for a flat and low ball.
SHAPE: 5 Excellent control at the baseline and at the net. This was the closest experience I've had to a point-and-shoot stringbed, at least for the first 4 hours.
COMFORT: 4 Firm, crisp and consistent. I would have liked just a little more ball pocketing, but that's about as much as I can hope for given how crisp V-Square plays.

Thoughts:
Kirschbaum Max Power is a wonderful cross string and adds a delicious firmness & consistency. Pity I've already returned the reel, but my PRCW finally got here and I can always buy it again, as this sale seems to be here for good.

V-Square has excellent bite, far too much power, not enough predictability and terrible length of playtime.

93P 14x18: Toroline Wasabi Ginger | Toroline Wasabi Horseradish at 45/45:
Hours Played: 8
Is full bed Wasabi better than Wasabi / OGSG? Yes for spin and comfort, no for sound. Oh god the sound.

Total: 12/20
THWACK: 3
Fairly underpowered, even at 45 lbs. Consistent over its entire lifetime, but I could have used a little more pop.
LAUNCH: 4 Moderate spin, not as much as I expected from a shaped string. Very similar to Signum Pro Yellow Jacket
SHAPE: 3 Meh control, I couldn't quite gel with the feedback from this string, in part due to its absolutely awful sound.
COMFORT: 2 Felt great on my arm, but the string would just resonate for a solid second after every hit. Dampener helped, but it still pinged in the worst way.

Thoughts:
Not a bad shaped poly from Toroline, I just can't stand the audio feedback from this string in full bed. Love the aesthetics, hate the pinginess. I have one last set in Pomegranate color, will try it as a cross as it's honestly a pretty darn comfortable string.


My new Revo 4000 has arrived to replace the 2pt dropweight. Used it to string the 98+ and the 93p last night. Took five minutes to unbox and set up, but another 45 to read the manual and make sure I understood how to use & set a crank stringer properly. First racquet took 59 minutes due to unfamiliarity with the clamping system, but the second was substantially faster at 36. The lockout is wonderfully fast for pulling tension, and I'm sure my times will get faster as I get more comfortable with the 6point turntable & gravity clamps.

Next up:
93P 14x18: Mayami Hepta Power at 49/46
This string looks and feels like Dunlop Black Widow. It was substantially easier to string, here's hoping that it's more comfortable.

 

irulan

Rookie
Head Hawk 18 -is how thick and is it shaped or round poly?
Comparison of Head Hawk vs Solinco HGS\TBS would be nice to know if you played both.
It is 1.20mm, and it is a smooth round poly.

98+1: Head Hawk 18 | OGSG at 53/50
Hawk is somewhat muted, but with excellent feedback. It was honestly the surprise of the night, I was cranking fast aces and slapping around flat forehands like I was in high school. I was also having an exceptionally good night of footwork, but I was exceedingly surprised by how much I liked that string. I didn't find the spin to be particularly lacking, but that might be because I was having too much fun hitting flat lasers. I've got TBS in the bin, I'll try and provide a comparison in the coming weeks.



Hepta Power is, unsurprisingly, quite powerful. Edges are sharp, spin is great, it's quite comfortable, but a bit lacking in control.
 
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Folsom_Stringer_Musa

Professional
It is 1.20mm, and it is a smooth round poly. Hawk is somewhat muted, but with excellent feedback. It was honestly the surprise of the night, I was cranking fast aces and slapping around flat forehands like I was in high school. I was also having an exceptionally good night of footwork, but I was exceedingly surprised by how much I liked that string. I didn't find the spin to be particularly lacking, but that might be because I was having too much fun hitting flat lasers. I've got TBS in the bin, I'll try and provide a comparison in the coming weeks.

Hepta Power is, unsurprisingly, quite powerful. Edges are sharp, spin is great, it's quite comfortable, but a bit lacking in control.
I am interested in trying Hepta Power.
Is that msv c-focus or pro's pro?
 

irulan

Rookie
There is Hepta Power 1.24mm from myami and Hepta Twist from MSV.
It's Hepta Power 1.24mm from Mayami, I bought their sampler. My first impression is that it's a pretty great string, significantly better than Toroline Wasabi.

If I had a second set, I'd hybrid it with a stiff, slick poly like PRCW or Kirschbaum Max Power.
 

irulan

Rookie
Had a bunch of demos come in last week, so hadn't spent much time testing polys. Nonetheless, here's a mini-writeup on the set.



Yonex VCore 95: Locked up bed of Polytour Rev
Wilson Blade v7 18x20: Near-fresh bed of Alu Power
Tecnifibre TF40 315: Appears to be Black Code. The previous demoer put a full 9g of lead tape on the frame, took a while to get it off.
Yonex VCore Pro HD: Near dead set of HyperG, broke after 30 minutes.

TF40: Not sure whether it was the string or stick, I could not gel with this racquet at all. Knew within 15 minutes that this was not the one for me. Felt heavy, sluggish, and while it was nice for flat shots, my spin game was significantly weaker.
Blade: Oh my Alu Power is a joy to use. Amazing feel, control and spin for the first 90 minutes. After that, the stringbed started notching and was not the same heavenly feel. Didn't have very much confidence in my 1HBH with the Blade, and the gray bar aesthetics just didn't vibe.
VCore 95: Point and shoot stick. Great feel, amazing control, but not significantly different from my 93P or Ripstick. Probably the racquet I played best with out of the demo batch, but I'm a glutton for punishment. I felt like the entire stringbed was sweetspot, with no jarring effects even on way-off-center contacts.
VCore Pro HD: Amazing when you hit the sweetspot, godawful when you don't. Absolutely struggled at the net, due to how imprecise my volleys were on contact points. After restringing with Confidential 18, my groundstrokes were glorious when I hit the sweetspot. Flat forehands, backhands, serves were cannonballs when I did things right, and absolute wiffleballs when I was lazy. However, off-center hits were jarring and a full swing was absolutely necessary to make shots work.

Ultimately decided to go with the VCore Pro HD as a forcing function to make me work harder on footwork / placement / swing discipline. Two of these bad boys arriving later this week, customization TBD. I'm thinking of swapping in a leather grip to add a little more weight/stability to help my volley game, and possibly a little lead at 3/9 to raise the sweetspot.
 

galapagos

Professional
Had a bunch of demos come in last week, so hadn't spent much time testing polys. Nonetheless, here's a mini-writeup on the set.



Yonex VCore 95: Locked up bed of Polytour Rev
Wilson Blade v7 18x20: Near-fresh bed of Alu Power
Tecnifibre TF40 315: Appears to be Black Code. The previous demoer put a full 9g of lead tape on the frame, took a while to get it off.
Yonex VCore Pro HD: Near dead set of HyperG, broke after 30 minutes.

TF40: Not sure whether it was the string or stick, I could not gel with this racquet at all. Knew within 15 minutes that this was not the one for me. Felt heavy, sluggish, and while it was nice for flat shots, my spin game was significantly weaker.
Blade: Oh my Alu Power is a joy to use. Amazing feel, control and spin for the first 90 minutes. After that, the stringbed started notching and was not the same heavenly feel. Didn't have very much confidence in my 1HBH with the Blade, and the gray bar aesthetics just didn't vibe.
VCore 95: Point and shoot stick. Great feel, amazing control, but not significantly different from my 93P or Ripstick. Probably the racquet I played best with out of the demo batch, but I'm a glutton for punishment. I felt like the entire stringbed was sweetspot, with no jarring effects even on way-off-center contacts.
VCore Pro HD: Amazing when you hit the sweetspot, godawful when you don't. Absolutely struggled at the net, due to how imprecise my volleys were on contact points. After restringing with Confidential 18, my groundstrokes were glorious when I hit the sweetspot. Flat forehands, backhands, serves were cannonballs when I did things right, and absolute wiffleballs when I was lazy. However, off-center hits were jarring and a full swing was absolutely necessary to make shots work.

Ultimately decided to go with the VCore Pro HD as a forcing function to make me work harder on footwork / placement / swing discipline. Two of these bad boys arriving later this week, customization TBD. I'm thinking of swapping in a leather grip to add a little more weight/stability to help my volley game, and possibly a little lead at 3/9 to raise the sweetspot.
very nice demo racquets :) you should add gravity pro and prestige mp :) i prefer both of them vs vcore pro hd. I never tried vcore 95. Was it stable enough ?
 

irulan

Rookie
very nice demo racquets :) you should add gravity pro and prestige mp :) i prefer both of them vs vcore pro hd. I never tried vcore 95. Was it stable enough ?
I found the VCore 95 to be plenty stable, moreso than any of my regular sticks. TBH it was the best stick if I just wanted to win more points without changing much about my game.

I thought about trying the prestige MP, I tested the gravity pro in my very first batch of demos in January. I'm pretty happy with where I am in terms of racquets at the moment, maybe I'll revisit in a year or two. Since I'm doing my own customization, having a closer starting point due to Yonex quality control is a big plus.
 

galapagos

Professional
I found the VCore 95 to be plenty stable, moreso than any of my regular sticks. TBH it was the best stick if I just wanted to win more points without changing much about my game.

I thought about trying the prestige MP, I tested the gravity pro in my very first batch of demos in January. I'm pretty happy with where I am in terms of racquets at the moment, maybe I'll revisit in a year or two. Since I'm doing my own customization, having a closer starting point due to Yonex quality control is a big plus.
gravity is a bit weird with the head shape. Striking also feels a bit different than regular "control" oriented sticks. But the performance potential is very good. So question if you can adapt to the feel. Otherwise prestige mp and vcore95 seems better. I liked blade as well but tried only 16x19 . Used to play with 18x20 2015 blade :) Not a big fan of HH setups but they moved the balance a bit so looks interesting.
 

taydbear7

Semi-Pro
Had a bunch of demos come in last week, so hadn't spent much time testing polys. Nonetheless, here's a mini-writeup on the set.



Yonex VCore 95: Locked up bed of Polytour Rev
Wilson Blade v7 18x20: Near-fresh bed of Alu Power
Tecnifibre TF40 315: Appears to be Black Code. The previous demoer put a full 9g of lead tape on the frame, took a while to get it off.
Yonex VCore Pro HD: Near dead set of HyperG, broke after 30 minutes.

TF40: Not sure whether it was the string or stick, I could not gel with this racquet at all. Knew within 15 minutes that this was not the one for me. Felt heavy, sluggish, and while it was nice for flat shots, my spin game was significantly weaker.
Blade: Oh my Alu Power is a joy to use. Amazing feel, control and spin for the first 90 minutes. After that, the stringbed started notching and was not the same heavenly feel. Didn't have very much confidence in my 1HBH with the Blade, and the gray bar aesthetics just didn't vibe.
VCore 95: Point and shoot stick. Great feel, amazing control, but not significantly different from my 93P or Ripstick. Probably the racquet I played best with out of the demo batch, but I'm a glutton for punishment. I felt like the entire stringbed was sweetspot, with no jarring effects even on way-off-center contacts.
VCore Pro HD: Amazing when you hit the sweetspot, godawful when you don't. Absolutely struggled at the net, due to how imprecise my volleys were on contact points. After restringing with Confidential 18, my groundstrokes were glorious when I hit the sweetspot. Flat forehands, backhands, serves were cannonballs when I did things right, and absolute wiffleballs when I was lazy. However, off-center hits were jarring and a full swing was absolutely necessary to make shots work.

Ultimately decided to go with the VCore Pro HD as a forcing function to make me work harder on footwork / placement / swing discipline. Two of these bad boys arriving later this week, customization TBD. I'm thinking of swapping in a leather grip to add a little more weight/stability to help my volley game, and possibly a little lead at 3/9 to raise the sweetspot.
You review on the VCPHD is spot. That's exactly how I feel about it. It's a demanding racquet so you have to be good with your technique to really shine.
 

irulan

Rookie
You review on the VCPHD is spot. That's exactly how I feel about it. It's a demanding racquet so you have to be good with your technique to really shine.
That was my hope when I picked up the 93P 14x18. Either I found my groove with it after testing like 10 different string setups, or it's significantly more forgiving than the VCPHD. Could also be the Confidential, I've heard other folks talk about off-center hits being unpleasant with that string.
 

taydbear7

Semi-Pro
That was my hope when I picked up the 93P 14x18. Either I found my groove with it after testing like 10 different string setups, or it's significantly more forgiving than the VCPHD. Could also be the Confidential, I've heard other folks talk about off-center hits being unpleasant with that string.
I also have the new Vcore 95. It came strung with Confidential and Triax. I really like it and everything the frame was going in. lol. I only played with it once so far. It's hard for me to get away from the 98+ which a nice all around frame. I love the VCP97HD but it's too demanding for me. The serve with it is beastly though.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
vcp97 310g is a more forgiving alternative to the vcpHD. Add leather/gel grip to tail weight it and possibly 1-2g at 10/2 and it will feel heavenly
 

irulan

Rookie
vcp97 310g is a more forgiving alternative to the vcpHD. Add leather/gel grip to tail weight it and possibly 1-2g at 10/2 and it will feel heavenly
That's what I'm thinking I'll do for the HDs when they get here. I might wrap a few strips of lead tape under the OG to simulate a leather grip before I do the full swap. Or if it has a trapdoor, adding some coins + plastic wrap into the handle.

93P 14x18: Mayami Hepta Power at 48/46
Hours Played: 7
Like a slightly cheaper Black Widow.

Total: 12/20
THWACK: 6
Slightly overpowered at 48 lbs.
LAUNCH: 4 Mediocre spin. It's there when you go all out, but anything less than 95% intent leads to somewhat inconsistent spin application. It somewhat erratic trying to control the amount of spin applied to the ball.
SHAPE: 2 The shots kicked, but they didn't really dive as much as other shaped polys. Launch angle far lower than I expected out of a shaped poly with relatively sharp edges.
COMFORT: 2 Twangy, kinda hollow feeling string. Didn't like the sound, and I didn't get very much feel out of this string for touch shots. Hardly appropriate for a player stick like the 93P

Thoughts:
A rather unmemorable shaped poly. Kinda like Wasabi, but black and seven-sided. I played a lot longer with this string than I'd planned, mostly because I needed my demo setups to outperform this mediocre stringjob to merit the $$$$ of a racquet change.

Next Up:
93P 14x18: Tier One Durafluxx 16 at 52/50
 
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galapagos

Professional
That's what I'm thinking I'll do for the HDs when they get here. I might wrap a few strips of lead tape under the OG to simulate a leather grip before I do the full swap. Or if it has a trapdoor, adding some coins + plastic wrap into the handle.

93P 14x18: Mayami Hepta Power at 48/46
Hours Played: 7
Like a slightly cheaper Black Widow.

Total: 12/20
THWACK: 6
Slightly overpowered at 48 lbs.
LAUNCH: 4 Mediocre spin. It's there when you go all out, but anything less than 95% intent leads to somewhat inconsistent spin application. It somewhat erratic trying to control the amount of spin applied to the ball.
SHAPE: 2 The shots kicked, but they didn't really dive as much as other shaped polys. Launch angle far lower than I expected out of a shaped poly with relatively sharp edges.
COMFORT: 2 Twangy, kinda hollow feeling string. Didn't like the sound, and I didn't get very much feel out of this string for touch shots. Hardly appropriate for a player stick like the 93P

Thoughts:
A rather unmemorable shaped poly. Kinda like Wasabi, but black and seven-sided. I played a lot longer with this string than I'd planned, mostly because I needed my demo setups to outperform this mediocre stringjob to merit the $$$$ of a racquet change.

Next Up:
93P 14x18: Tier One Durafluxx 16 at 52/50
Thanks , i was thinking about adding mayami hepta power to my list but maybe will just put it in my Maybe list for now. I saw on instagram pictures of yonex vcore hd with mayami hit pro and combo looked great. Maybe worth a try? I already tried 1.25 and 1.30 hit pro and i really liked it. 1.30 in 16x19 and 1.25 in 18x20 racquets i guess. I prefer 1.30 anyway as you know :)
 

irulan

Rookie
Thanks , i was thinking about adding mayami hepta power to my list but maybe will just put it in my Maybe list for now. I saw on instagram pictures of yonex vcore hd with mayami hit pro and combo looked great. Maybe worth a try? I already tried 1.25 and 1.30 hit pro and i really liked it. 1.30 in 16x19 and 1.25 in 18x20 racquets i guess. I prefer 1.30 anyway as you know :)
I will try the hit pro once I figure out if I like shaped or smooth strings in the VCPHDs. First two string setups will probably be full-bed Black Force and PRCW | Sensation, to see if I prefer grip n rip or round strings in the new sticks.
 

irulan

Rookie


New sticks. Strung with Pro's Pro Blackout at 50/48 for a hitting session to see if I prefer stock or lead and leather.

I got lucky and drew a set of Yonex Rexis Speed for the playtest. Thinking of using it in hybrids, I'm wondering what combinations would be valuable to write about.

I'm finding the Durafluxx in the 93P to be a little overly stiff and harsh, so maybe Durafluxx / Rexis Speed as a test of the Rexis as a multifilament cross for softening up firm mains. What should I do with the other halfset?

Could run it as a main with Ghostwire crosses. Could also test it side by side against another multifilament cross, but the only multis I have on hand are Sensation Comfort and Tier One Triumph.
 
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irulan

Rookie
Played three sets with a buddy today, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. I definitely prefer the leather grip, it adds so much stability to the VCPHD on my off-center hits. Took off two strips from the top so I only had 1.5g at 10/2 and that was perfect. Blackout is a solid middle-of-the-road poly. Decent spin, quite comfortable, but a little muted in response for my taste full bed. I'm going to swap in something a little more lively and responsive for getting dialed in on the VCPHDs, maybe try out Trionic / OGSM.

The Durafluxx has broken in, and is very nicely comfortable and responsive in the 93P. I don't know why, but that stick just works for me, perhaps because I'd been hitting with it the most of the past month.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
mayami tour hex 1.23/ghostwire 1.22 @38/36 lbs felt great in my pure strike 16x19 3rd gen. I also like tailweighting my racquets with a heavy grip but leather transmits too much shock so I much prefer the wilson shock shield grip. Agree with other posters that tour hex falls in between HGS n HG in terms of comfort. My only gripe is that after a few hitting sessions, the sharpness of the shaped poly starts to wear off from tour hex and HG/HGS
 

irulan

Rookie
Gotten a solid 4 hours on the Blackout now. It's comfortable, solid spin potential, reasonably controlled/consistent and not particularly notched yet. Honestly quite impressed with this $50 reel, even if the shape is nowhere near the sharp pentagon it promises.

The other VCPHD has Trionic 18 / Sensation 16 at 54/54. I thought that would be enough of an increase in tension, but it's still a bit more power than I want. Ridiculously comfortable, excellent ball pocketing, but putting a soft muted cross onto a soft muted main makes for nowhere near as much feedback as I like. I'd say it has comparable spin potential to the Blackout. I will definitely have to raise the tension for the Rexis Speed playtest.
 

irulan

Rookie
VCore Pro HD1: Pro's Pro Blackout at 52/50
Hours Played: 4
Not bad for a $3.50 string

Total: 15/20
THWACK: 4
Solidly controllable power, with pretty decent control at this tension. Will go to 53/50 next for just a little more control on full cuts.
LAUNCH: 4 Thoroughly acceptable spin, even though this racquet is 18x20 string pattern. I expected more out of a 5 sided pentagonal poly (the picture on the reel), but this string is basically round with seams. Extremely consistent response.
SHAPE: 4 Consistent launch angle, decent dive, solid slices. Not mindblowing, but not disappointing either.
COMFORT: 3 Slightly twangy even fresh. Plays perfectly fine for the first two or three sessions, but becomes a little trampoliny and I started feeling discomfort in my wrist after hour 4.

Thoughts:
Honestly, getting 2 solid sessions out of this string meets my expectations for such a cheap string. I'm happy with 4 hours of playtime; Wouldn't buy another reel, but I'll probably finish this one pretty quickly as I like it enough to keep using it. Will come back to this at a slightly higher tension after the Rexis playtest.

Next Up:
VCore Pro HD1: Genesis Trionic 18 | Yonex Rexis Speed 16L at 53/56
VCore Pro HD2: Genesis Trionic 18 | Wilson Sensation 16 at 54/58
 
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irulan

Rookie
VCore Pro HD2: Genesis Trionic 18 | Wilson Sensation 16 at 54/58
Hours Played: 5
First time trying multifilament crosses

Total: 9/20
THWACK: 3
Slightly boardy at 54/58, but opened up after a little break-in.
LAUNCH: 2 Pretty low launch angle, Sensation is not super slick.
SHAPE: 2 Not the most controlled setup. Nowhere near as much snapback as I'd like, which is somewhat expected
COMFORT: 2 Quite comfortable after break-in, but this is due to tension more than anything else. Not particularly responsive

Thoughts:
Not a great setup, these two strings did not gel together at all.

VCore Pro HD1: Genesis Trionic 18 | Yonex Rexis Speed 16L at 53/56
Hours Played: 3
Yonex Rexis Speed playtest hybrid setup #1

Total: 15/20
THWACK: 5
Much better power at 53/56, while maintaining excellent pocketing right from the getgo. Plenty of access to power without being limp on short swings.
LAUNCH: 3 Better spin for the first hour, but Rexis Speed is super fragile and began notching / fraying immediately. Significantly notched by hour 3.
SHAPE: 3 Significantly better than the Sensation combo, but still far behind than any poly/SG or poly/poly hybrid I've used
COMFORT: 4 Very responsive, excellent feedback and supremely comfortable.

Thoughts:
Rexis Speed is a pretty great string for the first set, and falls off a cliff afterwards due to its low durability.

Next Up:
VCore Pro HD1: Yonex Rexis Speed 16L | Tecnifibre Pro Red Code Wax at 53/50
VCore Pro HD2: Genesis Trionic 18 at 50/47
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
I tried non poly cross and I absolutely hated it. After a few hrs, cross string starts to get fuzzy and then strings start displacing. Appropriate low tension soft copoly cross much better option for softening stringbed imo
 

irulan

Rookie
VCore Pro HD1: Yonex Rexis Speed 16L | Tecnifibre Pro Red Code Wax at 53/50
Hours Played: 6
Yonex Rexis Speed playtest hybrid setup #2

Total: 14/20
THWACK: 5
Excellent balance at 53 lbs. Ball went as deep as I wanted it to go, with easy access to power.
LAUNCH: 1 Unsurprisingly, multifilament mains pale in comparison to poly, even when using slick crosses.
SHAPE: 3 Good control, but lacking the sharp bite that I crave on rally balls. Looping balls possible, just with lots of effort.
COMFORT: 5 Responsive but soft, super comfortable in this setup.

Thoughts:
Rexis Speed fares FAR better as a main than as a cross. This stringbed was still comfortable and barely notched after 6 hours of play, though I found myself craving the spin that only poly can deliver. So concludes my first playtest.

Next Up:
VCore Pro HD1: Babolat RPM Blast at 50/47
 
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