Strings becoming stiffer after (some) play?

#1
I've noticed this with the poly strings I have used but what about multis and synthetic gut?

I strung my Ultra Tour with some Gosen AK Pro CX 16G at 23kg and for the first three hours of play it was very nice, but after the 3hr mark the sweet spot started to get smaller and smaller and the stringbed became progressively and rapidly stiffer and to the point it was hurting my arm and I had to cut it out at the 4.5hr mark.

Is this normal behavior for this string?
What are some synthetic guts and multis that exhibit this behavior? I am particularly interested in Head PPS, Prince Premiere Control, Head Velocity, Wilson NXT, and Head Rip Control.
 
#4
Gosen AK Pro CX is not classified as a polyester string. It is a standard nylon based multi, though not constructed as a standard multifilament string. It has a solid squarish mono core with bundles of multifilament wrapped around it. Do not know why this string would stiffen up since it is nylon. Only reason would be poly multifilament bundles surrounding the core. However the string description does not say that.

Prince Premiere Control, Head Velocity and Wilson NXT do not behave like this. They just get looser. Rip Control starts off muted and stays that way. Head PPS is a SG.
 

4-string

Professional
#5
All string lose elasticity, some more drastically and more rapidly than others. Also, snapback deteriorates.

A great combo for a stiffer feeling stringbed. :)

This is my layman's understanding of it anyway, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
 
#6
I just strung up AK Pro CX for the first time in my DR 98, about 8.5 hours in and it's still performing great so much so I might buy a reel of this stuff. I noticed it did need a bit of a longer break in period about an hour, but that could have been my imagination. Not sure why it was having the opposite effect for you?
 
#8
I've noticed this with the poly strings I have used but what about multis and synthetic gut?

I strung my Ultra Tour with some Gosen AK Pro CX 16G at 23kg and for the first three hours of play it was very nice, but after the 3hr mark the sweet spot started to get smaller and smaller and the stringbed became progressively and rapidly stiffer and to the point it was hurting my arm and I had to cut it out at the 4.5hr mark.

Is this normal behavior for this string?
What are some synthetic guts and multis that exhibit this behavior? I am particularly interested in Head PPS, Prince Premiere Control, Head Velocity, Wilson NXT, and Head Rip Control.
It seems to me that fresh strings have surfaces that are usually more smooth and slippery than others that have some mileage on them. Sometimes when I'm handling fresh string for a string job, it feels like it's leaving a little silicone on my hands. After some use, they get more roughened up, crusty, dirty, etc. When they can't slide and displace as readily as when they're fresh, this can certainly make them feel more harsh at impact. They don't as easily "give way" when the ball thumps up against them.

I work in the summers at a club with clay (Har-Tru) courts that definitely make a mess of my strings in a hurry compared with the hard courts at the local high school where I coach. I've never gotten into physically cleaning off my strings, but I may try it next summer... maybe.

I think that strings also hold onto each other a little bit more - resist sliding and displacing at contact - as they wear against each other and "notch". If syn. gut loses a little of its resilience as it ages and also notches as it racks up the hours, that can make it much more prone to getting stuck out of position after a few hits compared to when it's hot off the stringer.
 
#9
It seems to me that fresh strings have surfaces that are usually more smooth and slippery than others that have some mileage on them. Sometimes when I'm handling fresh string for a string job, it feels like it's leaving a little silicone on my hands. After some use, they get more roughened up, crusty, dirty, etc. When they can't slide and displace as readily as when they're fresh, this can certainly make them feel more harsh at impact. They don't as easily "give way" when the ball thumps up against them.

I work in the summers at a club with clay (Har-Tru) courts that definitely make a mess of my strings in a hurry compared with the hard courts at the local high school where I coach. I've never gotten into physically cleaning off my strings, but I may try it next summer... maybe.

I think that strings also hold onto each other a little bit more - resist sliding and displacing at contact - as they wear against each other and "notch". If syn. gut loses a little of its resilience as it ages and also notches as it racks up the hours, that can make it much more prone to getting stuck out of position after a few hits compared to when it's hot off the stringer.
True.
I am beginning to think that what you describe may be the cause of this change in feel with this particular string. I just didn't expect it to happen so rapidly..... It certainly happens with some other strings I have tried e.g Gosen AK Control 17 with which I had a completely locked stringbed and mains all over the place within 30min of hitting. I don't know maybe I was expecting more from this string..
 
#10
Did you notice any notching?
No notching (which I was very surprised to see), but I have it in a slightly different setup — hybrided with a poly in the crosses. I played another 2 hours with it last night and felt like it was very near the end of its life, I have to review the tension #s but I noticed a drop-off and it's not nearly as crisp and responsive as it once was. It also started struggling to snap back near the end there as well...
 
#11
True.
I am beginning to think that what you describe may be the cause of this change in feel with this particular string. I just didn't expect it to happen so rapidly..... It certainly happens with some other strings I have tried e.g Gosen AK Control 17 with which I had a completely locked stringbed and mains all over the place within 30min of hitting. I don't know maybe I was expecting more from this string..
I appreciate the inherent softness that we get with most multifibers, but I just haven't had good luck with them myself. Although I haven't sampled everything under the sun, the multis I have used in recent years have had a tendency to steadily degrade - soften more and more - and become useless for me well before breaking down and snapping. I can't install them at higher tensions so that they can more or less settle in because then they're initially too harsh and the higher tensions also chew them up too fast.

Folks who need a softer string bed and don't want to invest in a bed of natural gut can get what they need from multis for sure, but this tendency to steadily degrade has me only offering them to my "stringing clients" when a multi is specifically what they need or what they ask me to install. One of the high school sluggers I coached a couple years ago saved his arm from a nasty onset of golfer's elbow when I switched him from a full poly into a 15 ga. multifiber for a few weeks - one case where it's just what he needed.

In so many cases though, I've found that synthetic gut (SG) is still a really strong option. It doesn't degrade the same way as multis can, its feel and performance are quite good for all but the hardest hitters, it's super affordable, and it's easy to get moderate softness with the right gauge and tension. Some SG's are a little more firm - Gosen OG Sheep Micro, Prince SG w/Duraflex - and a couple are softer than average. Forten Sweet is soft enough to work as an affordable alternative to some premium multifibers. Lately I've been buying reels of Kirschbaum's standard SG from TW and that string has been terrific.

If lots of strings are destined to wear and/or get dirty and then lock up, I think that syn. gut is at least an easier option to replace, since it plays rather well for more than just one or two outings and it's also really easy on the wallet. I know - easy for me to say this when I have a stringing machine at home, but that's my take on things.
 
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