Racquet Stringbed Density Rankings!!!

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
It's only been the last few years that I've come to realize the value of paying attention to stringbed density. I've learned that for a given stringbed stiffness, I much prefer a loosely-strung dense pattern over a tightly-strung open pattern. I can get just as much spin without sacrificing control (probably why most pros tend to play with denser patterns than the typical racquet sold to the public).

An annoying problem is that there is wide variation in stringbed density between racquet models that is not captured by simply specifying 16x19 or 18x20. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a spec that allowed us to know exactly how dense a racquet stringbed pattern is compared to other racquets?

I have gotten into the habit of measuring the distance between the 8 center mains, and then also measuring the distance between the 8 center crosses (with the 8 center crosses defined as the those that straddle the widest point of the frame).

Here is an example:


I propose to use this thread to establish a database of racquet stringbed density rankings. I need your help. To contribute and build this database, for each racquet model you have that is not already posted, please measure X and Y distances as in the image above and post the measurements in this thread (measure from center of each string).

I will try to periodically update the original post with stringbed density rankings by compiling data from the rest of the thread into a single spreadsheet. The ranking will be based on the product of (Xmm)x(Ymm), divided by 49 (i.e., the 8 center mains and 8 center crosses enclose 49 mesh openings). So the ranking will be in order of the average area per opening in square mm of these 49 central openings.

My not-so-hidden agenda is to persuade the racquet companies to start offering more super-dense patterns like the discontinued Wilson BLX Pro Tour (a little-known gem of a racquet that didn't catch on only because it was way too lightweight in stock form for player who don't customize):
The World's Most Evil Drop shot Racquet

Thanks!
 
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QuadCam

Professional
very true. I loved my week long demo of the pure control 95+, but there was something visually upsetting about the super dense string pattern. I've never played a racquet that dense.... and it bugged me. I kept thinking that a 16x18 or 16x19 PC95+ might be the perfect racquet for me.
 

Lukhas

Legend
^For me it was just that I worked too hard to create spin (plus small sweetspot), but the Plus version was indeed a very sweet stick. But I think it can be worked out with 18 or 19G strings; although there aren't too many of these. Even 17G is quite thick into this racquet. Then stringing the crosses between 2 and 4 lbs lower than the mains to open up the sweetspot a bit.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Volkl Organix 6: x/y: 80cm/85cm
Wilson Steam 99sL : 80cm/112cm
Wilson Steam 105s: 90cm/110cm
Prince POG mid:88cm/ 88cm
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 os: 90/95cm
Wilson Steam 99s: 81/114cm
Wilson Juice 100S: 80/115cm
Technifiber Tfight 255:81/87cm
Wilson PS 85: 78/78cm

Though are you getting spin by low tensions and a tension differential? Your ESP. I like from a "man these strings last forever" standpoint, but ugh they feel like crap and give weird vibes especially at low tensions. I blame the zx.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Volkl Organix 6: x/y: 80cm/85cm
Wilson Steam 99sL : 80cm/112cm
Wilson Steam 105s: 90cm/110cm
Prince POG mid:88cm/ 88cm
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 os: 90/95cm
Wilson Steam 99s: 81/114cm
Wilson Juice 100S: 80/115cm
Technifiber Tfight 255:81/87cm
Wilson PS 85: 78/78cm

Though are you getting spin by low tensions and a tension differential? Your ESP. I like from a "man these strings last forever" standpoint, but ugh they feel like crap and give weird vibes especially at low tensions. I blame the zx.
Thanks for posting measurements.
On the ESP, I think like any setup it plays best in a certain tension range - I suspect the setup I'm using feels quite different than it would at much lower tensions like you are using or at lower SW. Some the 3.5 and 4.0 folks at the park who have tried my leaded-up ESP Blade call it the "magic racquet" because it magically makes all their groundies land in the court. It makes flat shots accurate with precise launch angle, but still really bites well and gets great spin on spin shots.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for posting measurements.
On the ESP, I think like any setup it plays best in a certain tension range - I suspect the setup I'm using feels quite different than it would at much lower tensions like you are using or at lower SW. Some the 3.5 and 4.0 folks at the park who have tried my leaded-up ESP Blade call it the "magic racquet" because it magically makes all their groundies land in the court. It makes flat shots accurate with precise launch angle, but still really bites well and gets great spin on spin shots.
Interesting that you are using a spin racket.

My arm is improving and right now I have normal tensions but that is with gut/poly at 55/50. Do you think kevlar/zx in the 40s would be ok? Or do you need to be in the 50s or higher for esp? Say 60/50?

And now I am a bit confused because you mention dense patterns then your Blade ESP. Is that the racket you use or a normal blade?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Interesting that you are using a spin racket.

My arm is improving and right now I have normal tensions but that is with gut/poly at 55/50. Do you think kevlar/zx in the 40s would be ok? Or do you need to be in the 50s or higher for esp? Say 60/50?

And now I am a bit confused because you mention dense patterns then your Blade ESP. Is that the racket you use or a normal blade?
ESP is the term I came up with (as posted in the ESP thread) to describe the kevlar/ZX setup at high tension differential (Extraordinary Spin Potential). Prince came out with the ESP racquets (with slightly different acronym) soon thereafter to describe the super open patterns.

For me, kevlar ZX gets uncontrollable against heavy incoming shots when the tension gets too low. I think you'll just have to experiment to find the right tension for a given racquet - the ESP. I like the ESP best in denser pattern frames. The benefit of the ESP (my version) is that it let's you enjoy the directional precision of stiffer stringbed without sacrificing any spin potential.

Also, remember that with kevlar/ZX, 60/40 will feel almost 5 pounds looser than 55/45, because due to a mm or two of frame shortening, kevlar will drop tension until it is almost as loose as the stretchier ZX, while the extra frame width will have relatively little effect on the tension of the ZX.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
ESP is the term I came up with (as posted in the ESP thread) to describe the kevlar/ZX setup at high tension differential (Extraordinary Spin Potential). Prince came out with the ESP racquets (with slightly different acronym) soon thereafter to describe the super open patterns.

For me, kevlar ZX gets uncontrollable against heavy incoming shots when the tension gets too low. I think you'll just have to experiment to find the right tension for a given racquet - the ESP. I like the ESP best in denser pattern frames. The benefit of the ESP (my version) is that it let's you enjoy the directional precision of stiffer stringbed without sacrificing any spin potential.

Also, remember that with kevlar/ZX, 60/40 will feel almost 5 pounds looser than 55/45, because due to a mm or two of frame shortening, kevlar will drop tension until it is almost as loose as the stretchier ZX, while the extra frame width will have relatively little effect on the tension of the ZX.
Duh. I should have figured that out.

Ok. I thought you were using 18g. is there a big difference between 16g and 18g? Wouldnt you get more spin with the 18g or do you lose directional precision?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Duh. I should have figured that out.

Ok. I thought you were using 18g. is there a big difference between 16g and 18g? Wouldnt you get more spin with the 18g or do you lose directional precision?
The 16g kevlar ended up feeling and playing significantly tighter than the 18g setup when strung at the prestretched 66/46 I had been using. With the 20-lb differential, the stringbed was still providing good snapback and bite, but the power level was very low (which was nice for controlling volleys and forehands, but a little underpowered on serves and off-balance 2hb for the first couple of sessions until the kevlar broke in).

I will probably drop the tension a little to 62/42 next time.
 
I've learned that for a given stringbed stiffness, I much prefer a loosely-strung dense pattern over a tightly-strung open pattern. I can get just as much spin without sacrificing control...
+1... That's why I got hold of the PK Black Ace Micro :)

With most of my denser patterns strung 8-10 lbs looser, there was more elasticity left in the string. That gave me more comfort, pocketing, feel, spin and power. Sweetspot felt a little larger and yet hard incoming shots with heavy spin remained equally controllable.

PK Black Ace Micro (22x30)  54x54mm :shock:
PK Black Ace 98 (18x20)  72x87mm
Head Graphene Prestige Pro (16x19)  75x84mm
Wilson ProStaff Classic 6.1 (16x18)  81x79mm
Dunlop Aerogel200 (18x20)  71x75mm
Dunlop MFil300 (16x19)  81x81mm
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Why do you need the measurements, can't you just use the area of the racket? If you use the length and width what happens if someone's racket is compressed 5 mm? Exercise in futility.
 

henman_fan

New User
Prince Exo3 Hybrid 100 - x-84mm y-79mm

I have a BLX Six One 95 that I can't measure because the strings are badly misaligned.

I have questions on your ESP thread. Could you look into them please? Hopefully I will try out the setup over this summer - http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=468680&page=10

I think it's worth revisiting this thread - http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=367298&page=4
Myself, NYS and others have mentioned that it has the potential to be so much more. For it to be that we really need to find the equipment factors. It seems that you are the only man to do this. Others have tried and failed, myself included.
 
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travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Why do you need the measurements, can't you just use the area of the racket? If you use the length and width what happens if someone's racket is compressed 5 mm? Exercise in futility.
You've completely missed the point.

For example, a BLX Blade 98 and a BLX Pro Tour have virtually identical head size, and both have 18x20 patterns.
However, the stringbed densities of these 2 racquets are completely different. The Blade is extremely open-patterned while the Pro Tour is extremely dense. The Pro Tour has 8-center-string distances of 65mm x 72mm (if I recall correctly), while the Blade is 75mm x 77mm.

Taking the xy products and dividing by 49, the Blade has average spacing size near the center of about 117mm^2, while spacing size on the Pro Tour is 95mm^2.

This means that the Pro Tour is almost 25% denser than the Blade, and plays accordingly. I also have seen 16x19 frames that are denser than my Blades.
 
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hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I've learned that for a given stringbed stiffness, I much prefer a loosely-strung dense pattern over a tightly-strung open pattern. I can get just as much spin without sacrificing control (probably why most pros tend to play with denser patterns than the typical racquet sold to the public).
I wonder about this perception. Sounds intriguing.

I have never been able to get much spin with a dense pattern. (Maybe they have all been strung too tight.?)
 
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Automatix

Hall of Fame
Yonex Pro RD 70 Long 95 (95 square inch* headsize, 16x17 string pattern, throat grommet for 6 strings):
82mm x 91-92mm (the discrepancy is due to the odd number of crosses)

Yonex RQiS Tour-1 (95 square inch* headsize, 16x18 string pattern, throat grommet for 6 strings):
80mm x 78mm


* - Side note. Although both are listed as 95 square inches when you place the Pro RD 70 on top of the RQiS you can clearly see that the RD 70 is bigger. And it's not a result of different head shape.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
There was a website for this. Can't remember what it was called but it asked you to input your racquet and string specs and then calculated stringbed stiffness for you. It's a basic site but got the job done.
 

Automatix

Hall of Fame
Travlerajm, I don't know if you still collect data, still here are the measurement for the new Wilson frames:
Wilson RF97 & PS97 (16x19) = 77 x 85/86,5 [mm]
Wilson PS97 LS (18x16) = 75 x 105 [mm]
 
A

Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
- Babolat Pure Storm Ltd GT: 68x, 79y (the crosses have more uneven spacing)
- Head Liquidmetal Radical MP: 68x, 76y (crosses have nice even spacing)
- Head Microgel Radical MP: 69x, 77y
- Prince Exo3 Tour 100: 74x, 83y
 
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zalive

Hall of Fame
This deserves to be bump-ed.
Only @travlerajm later introduced measuring 8 uppermost (closest to the tip) crosses as well, to calculate string bed density which is more significant for hitting groundstrokes (as he kindly explained to me this year)?
 
Zalive, may I ask a bit of help here... I tried to reproduce Travler's max ACOR formula using your rackets' data but it seems I am mixing things up and I cannot reproduce the results so as to check for my racket.

"...For the Volkl (350 SW and 367g, 4.5pts HL), the balance is 0.45" more HH than the max-ACOR balance....ACOR formula is
e = -(mbb + Im/M - ICOR)/(mbb + I + Im/M)

e = ACOR
m = ball mass (0.057kg)
b = distance from impact point to racquet balance point. I usually assume 54cm for impact point on groundies.
I = racquet moment of inertia about balance point (recoil weight).
M = racquet mass.
COR = coefficient of restitution of ball-racquet impact (assumed to be constant at 0.85 for calcuation, since variation is small)

I am certainly making some mistakes cause I get a result of 0.54cm/0.21" for the Volkl numbers (fyi the moment of inertia I am using is 554.199 from the formula SW+20*Mass*Balance-100*Mass=350+20*0.367*32.82-100*0.367)

AS regards the pattern density for my Donnay P1 GT (97head 16x19) at the center it is 78x85mm=1.35 and at the upper section 78x95=1.51. Comparing those figures with yours' from the other thread and based on your notion that the PK racquet with respective numbers 1.31 and 1.74 was very precise for you play, seems that they share almost identical density pattern at the center (which confirms people's liking about the volley precision) and the Donnay appears more precise in groundstorkes.... That I cannot tell for sure, however I can confirm other people's comments about a low ball trajectory. Also i read in an earlier post here that the Head Prestige has a center pattern of 75x84...If you read many of the reviews from other folks around here about the Donnay P1 GT, many describe it as a better Prestige...Now on a side note I started using an ESP setup with Ashaway ZX at 63/49lbs for the first time. It was very good! Low ball trajectory with spin. Now I started to experimenting (again....) and moved some of the weights from the top of the handle to the bottom of the handle, therefore altering the balance, whilst always trying to maintain and MgR/I of 21. The ball trajectory changed...
 
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zalive

Hall of Fame
I will check this and get back. TBH I ran into some problems in those particular calculations myself at that time, then postponed the whole thing for quite a long time :)
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
@Nicholas Kakatsis :

I in formula for ACOR is not the one you calculate (one which is used for MgR/I calculation); it's actually recoil weight (RW).

And formula for RW is:
RW = SW - M*r*r

where:
r = BP - 10.16 (in cm)
M = racquet's mass (in kg)
 
Thanks a lot fro pointing that out...should have read more carefully as it was mentioned.

However I still can't get the numbers straight. For your Volkl racket this is what I am getting
b=21.2
mbb=25.6
I=161.55
Im=9.2
Im/M=25.1
ICOR=137.32
e=0.41 which considering I have been using cm for the balance calculation this is by no means in inches and if converted to inches it stands at 0.16, well below the 0.45" mentioned.

What is strange is that if I try to duplicate the PK one where Trav's output is negative -0.1" (meaning that the numerator is a positive number) I get a positive e of 0.42.
So definitely I am somewhere mistaken...
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
I get the same number as you.
Just checked it and everything seems to be correct in calculation. But this number is obviously not what we should be getting.
This is where I bumped into problem too. I guess we both need a help from travelerjam.
 
I get the same number as you.
Just checked it and everything seems to be correct in calculation. But this number is obviously not what we should be getting.
This is where I bumped into problem too. I guess we both need a help from travelerjam.
Is he still around?

Looking at the formula in order to produce a negative number, the recoil weight should be lower or equal than mbb since lm/M is a small number (due to it being a fraction with a big denomonator) . But how can this ever be with b=0.057?
 
I must be sleeping whilst standing....just re-read the thread. Our calcs are correct, but we calculated teh ACOR ,ot an balance. Actually what we need to do is you the solver of excel so that keeping constant the weight and SW and use as a variable the balance, find which balance produces maximum ACOR.

For your Volk since travler says it is 0.45" more HH than it should be at 4.5 points HL, then from around 32.82cm of current balance it should be around 31.2cm......

Will try to run this sometime tmrw...
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
We'll see, I believe he's around.
Tomorrow (today to NA guys lol) I'll put together everything in one post and tag him.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
I must be sleeping whilst standing....just re-read the thread. Our calcs are correct, but we calculated teh ACOR ,ot an balance. Actually what we need to do is you the solver of excel so that keeping constant the weight and SW and use as a variable the balance, find which balance produces maximum ACOR.

For your Volk since travler says it is 0.45" more HH than it should be at 4.5 points HL, then from around 32.82cm of current balance it should be around 31.2cm......

Will try to run this sometime tmrw...
I slept also because I didn't even see your second post :) you're absolutely right. I knew I read this, but forgot it in the meantime.
 
Well I run the numbers but the result is not the same. I found that for ACOR to max the balance should be 31.91cm. Which means that the racket is about 0.353" more head heavy than it should be. At least I think I got a step closer in the sense that my result show it should be more HL!
 
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