Discussion in 'Strings' started by alidisperanza, Feb 21, 2012.
Not many hours I would think. I would have expected more durability before it breaks.
Eh, to be honest, I wasn't terribly surprised. It popped today @ the 7 hour mark. I'll write a final summary some time tomorrow probably-- I don't quite have the brain power tonight either
Iontec Black, on the other hand, has been a real pleasure. After the settling period that I mentioned, it's played really well-- just how I expected. I'm past the 6 hour mark and while it doesn't have the zip it did when fresh, it's still definitely useable. I get the feeling that the strings are about to pop though. More on this tomorrow as well
Is Iontecc Black as arm friendly or more arm friendly (less stiff feeling) than the LTEC?
04 was surprisingly comfortable despite the lack of feel. You'll find a lot more feedback with the ItB. I'd say they're on par with a bit of an edge to iontec.
Ok, so final thoughts;
I finally popped the string after around 7 hours of pretty heavy play. Overall, it was an interesting experience. I'm going to divide my final thoughts into pros, cons, and then a short piece on value.
The first and foremost, most noticable aspect of the string is that it exhibits an incredible material hardness. The string feels fairly springy when unravelling it while not reaching that incredibly annoying wire-y feeling that one would find in a pack of pro hurricane tour. It's a bit of a paradox because of said hardness. For the most part, strings that I've seen with similar capacity for "springiness" have been very stiff playing strings (think PHT or AluR). When hitting the ball, this aspect is completely null and void. There's a contradiction between what you think the string should feel like and what it does feel like. Now, I understand that this seems like a con section so far but let me explain; this seems to help the string in two different ways on opposite ends of the paradox. The first, hardness of a string, seems to help stave off the notching process. For most players this will translate to longer playing time with the desired playing characteristics. The other side of the coin is the general feel of the string. Although I didn't find it favorable, the string is pretty comfortable at the tension I played it at. I honestly don't think that a lower tension would have been beneficial for me; 48 left me wanting a touch more control. Having said that, I think that this string really does need to be strung in the lower range-- at higher tensions I can see this being a disaster for those that are joint sensitive.
The next major characteristic that I'd like to talk about derives from the aforementioned part; spin generation. 04 generated a ton of spin and kick on the ball when it was fresh. I think the combination of the hardness and the slippery coating really worked nicely to achieve this goal. Balls were kicking off the ground very nicely and I was better able to keep the ball in play when going for a higher trajectory due to the extra dip I was able to produce. Unfortunately, once it was notched, this went away (more on this for the con section). Hitting the ball flat is pleasant enough as well-- the string has a great ability to absorb a lot of the action/ power on incoming shots and lets you redirect it as you want.
A third honorable note is the tension retention-- it's very good. Aside from the initial shift, I didn't really notice a huge drop in tension across the time period that I played. If there was a drop, it was insignificant in the sense that I was able to adjust my strokes within the warmup period to compensate without really thinking too much about it.
The first and foremost thing that bothered me about this string is the complete lack of feedback. The string does what it's supposed to but I had some serious trouble tracking where the ball was going to land. Some shots I would hit in by a foot, some shots, out by a foot and I couldn't tell the difference between the two. This, for me, is a big no-no. My game is still developing and I need the extra confidence boost of knowing where my balls are to take it to the next level.
The next big issue I had with the string was the notching issue. The spin produced by the string when fresh was fantastic but once the string started to notch (around 45 minutes) it played like an average, low powered poly. The drastic change in characteristic is a bit of a sore spot for me. By no means am I saying that the spin on the string was bad, only that it wasn't what it was when it was fresh.
Overall, this was an interesting playtest, not only because of the string but also because of the controversy revolving the string. I think that since I received the string as a playtest, I can judge it fairly without any sort of bias. For many players, this string will play well and enhance their game. While I don't quite think it will make the 30 hour mark per-se, I do think that it's a value for predominantly flat hitters who wear through strings as opposed to notch them. The string will be comfortable enough and allow you to redirect your flat balls where you want them. That being said, for the spin player who is putting in training hours on the court, I don't think this is a good fit. The strings simply notch and don't do anything superb to enhance your game because I found that I couldn't rely on it to do what I wanted. Tension maintenance is great which is a big positive for me since I've been stringing at lower tension to begin with. In this sense, I can't afford to loose too much tension because it's already lower to begin with. If I had to give it an overall rating, I would say that it's above average for a polyester combination. For someone looking for a muted string, this may be worth a try.
Now, accounting for the advertising campaign and the price point of the string (18.50/set from tennis warehouse), I don't think that this string is a bargain. I don't think the value quite matches up with the price point and the simple fact that they're tossing around numbers is an injustice to the public. I can certainly see this string performing well for some players and it definitely has it's niche for that market but I don't see this being a viable option for your average rec player. I definitely can't see this being a string that I would use purely based on the price point and my budget for tennis. Someone asked me if price were of no concern, would I play with this setup over my current (iontec black) and my response would be no purely based on the feedback issue. I need to know what I'm doing wrong and how to fix it and if money were no option, I'd be playing with gut/poly or the reverse for that very reason. While this string may work for some, it can't help me reach the next level of tennis.
Along the same line, I have trouble justifying the price of a gut/poly setup ranging from ~12.00/set econo to 19.00/set using high quality gut simply because I pop strings pretty quickly. The reason I bought a reel of iontec is because I'm popping a frame every 5 hours @ 4.00/set translates to about 1-2 frames a week which is still significantly lower and that's not accounting for the stringing cost since I do it myself. (PS, I'm getting more than 5 hours with iontec, I only used this number as a general average for poly). I have no clue what a "true" L-tec frame would cost but I doubt it would be the same as regular labor. While the 04 hybrid wasn't for me, I think L-tec would have a definite market in the business should they be willing to offer the string at a more competitive price. They're definitely doing some things right and I'm sure they'll continue to improve as they grow as a company. As of right now though, I think the string becomes a bit inaccessible because of the price.
try a hybrid of Thunderstrings Storm (metal color) mains with QU4TTRO crosses. a full set of storm is $8.99 and Qu4ttro is $15.99 which would give you 2 full sets when hybriding. $25 for 2 sets or $12.50 per set. if you buy reels, the price drops even more.
good summary on the ltec Ali. It seems to jive with my opinion of the string as well. I happen to like it better than others strings so far though even though the feel is bad. .
I prefer the muted thick feeling of the ball on the string I think.
if thunder is indeed ltec I'm going to try them as well.
Thunderstrings was originally only sold by G&G. then G&G stopped selling them and started carrying L-Tec. Now Thunderstrings is sold through Mamba. i tried the Triangle 3volution/QU4TTRO and 0S/4S hybrid. that similar muted feeling was apparent in both stringbeds which i attribute to the 4S or Qu4ttro. it would not surprise me in the least if thunder is the same as l-tec.
I had a friend hit with the strings to confirm what I was feeling and he seemed to actually like the feel, haha. Different strokes[strings] for different folks.
Yo what are you up to this weekend?
I think I'm going to be in S Jersey Why?
How about a suggestion on a string that plays like L-Tec premium gut?
Gah, wanted a TTW showdown
idk. when i tried 0S/4S and 0S/premium gut, i didn't care for the latter string bed so it's hard to say what would play like it.
In honor of Memorial Day, I decided to merge the old with the new:
An Original Head Vilas with pro code on the throat-- Iontec Black/OGSM
Finally got the full specs on my 2 frames. Both have 1 Yonex SuperGrap Overgrip and the Yonex damp.
Strung with Iontec Black @46#
Strung with Mamba Premium/ Iontec Black 52/48#
Mamba Premium Natural Gut/ Iontec Black
String: Mamba Premium Natural Gut/ Iontec Black
Frame: Yonex V-core 95D
Stringing was pretty easy. MPN is a bit dry and could use either wax or some lotion to make it easier to work with. The biggest issue here is tying knots because of the dessication: I tried both the double half hitch and the parnell knot and found the parnell to sit 100x better. Interestingly enough, the MPN's coating smells suspiciously like fingernail polish...hmmm. Nothing to report about ItB
Interesting play here. This is my first attempt at stringing gut this low since I normally do the 56# range. This setup is unique in a few ways. First, I would dub this combination a flat hitter's paradise. There is great dwell time and ample response off the string bed to give you the zip you need on the ball. Lacing those shots with a bit of topspin keeps them deep and on the court. The feel is almost too much in this aspect. Second, the ample response that makes this setup great for blasting flat makes it a bit tricky to control when trying to hit the monster spin that gut/poly is capable of against slower hitting players. Once the pace picks up and the ball bites a bit more into the string bed-- it's all there. The versatility of gut/poly is enormous. I've logged about an hour and a half by now and MPN/ItB performs well in that respect although I would venture to string it a touch tighter next time. A little more control would go a long way for my taste.
Net Play: Out-freaking-standing. The dwell time and strong transfer of energy make for punchy volleys. There's a little extra on every shot that makes this setup more effective than a full poly bed. Overheads are serve-like.
I've mixed feelings about this section although I think they're due to my lack of court time on the setup. Flat serves cannon off as expected but are prone to going a bit long (for now). I also can't seem to find my heavy kick serve. It's close but not quite there. I can hit topspin and slice effectively at about 65% but I can't really lay into the ball to get that extra effect. One of the shots I've developed into a weapon is the heavy "twist" serve where my ball comes in like a regular topspin serve from right to left but jumps out to the right after bouncing. To really make this a free point generator, the serve has to be struck confidently. Similar to the flat serves, I'm still up to a foot deep which is unacceptable for a second serve.
Around/ a little less than 1.5 hours so far and it's holding up decently.
First impressions MPN/ItB up.
Turns out I'm making a family emergency trip to Italy 6th to the 21st
Not cool. Hope everything is okay
Yeah, I'm not too thrilled about it either. I was planning this or next week for Boston . It happens though; circle of life.
Your friend should be banned.
Italy until the 21st!
PS. Switched back to my Rad Pro with B7 for a match and it played just as I remembered. I might have to get a reel of that stuff too...
Phew, back home. I played in Italy for about an hour one day and it made me realize how SORELY i missed my racquets and strings... terrible stuff over there
Hit for the first time in over a month-- God I missed it.
Also realized that I enjoy gut/poly at lower tension too and that I really may have to buy a reel of B7 or BHSR
Is the following calculation reasonable? It seems a bit excessive to me. I used the following calculator-- http://donthireddy.us/tennis/speed.html
This looks like it makes a bit more sense
Link to the vid I used -- first serve in the game.
I am pretty useless when it comes to physics, but all in all thats a great serve! I'd love to see you take a few mph off and hit the lines.
Physics is overrated.
It's like making and using a musical instrument.
Science and math are only trying to describe what the craftsman and artist already know.
But that is the point of science. To explain what we observe.
Plus, it gives me the satisfaction of "Yup, still got it "
Believe it or not, that serve lands on the line and unfortunately gets called out a decent ammt of the time. It's a little unnerving especially when people do it on clay. Taking what you said more liberally, the two serves I usually pull aces on are hitting what some call a "twist" (kick serve that bounces out to the right) on or near the T or the shorter angle out wide (assuming the deuce side).
Playing at 4.0, people are unduly impressed by the speed of the serve and get shaken easily but at 4.5, it's necessary to keep a competitive advantage and give my doubles partner the opportunity to close. More experienced players tend to read my placement serves and are able to return them neutralizing the advantage of the serve. I try to mix it up as often as possible to keep them guessing.
I'm definitely working on it though!
So the artist and craftsman already know exactly how the human body works? They know how to perform a quadruple bypass surgery? They know about the countless chemical reactions that take place in the body that explain why ibuprofen helps your sore muscles feel better or why potassium helps prevent cramps? They already understand how the brain works and why when you smell something it is so much easier to remember than seeing something? Hell, they already knew about cells and how, even at a microscopic level how there is more going on than we can wrap our minds around, how we are creating millions of ATP molecules a second, and how we have enough DNA to stretch from here to the moon, all replicated near perfectly because of enzymes that can check over every strand and fix it if it is wrong. And it was common knowledge to them how these hundreds of miles of DNA are transcripted by enzymes into RNA which is then sent to a ribosome winch can then essentially read the RNA and attach the correct amino acid, which eventually form proteins, which make up us.
They knew that, though.
If somebody calls my in serve out on clay, I go up and take a look and ask them to circle the mark.
Neuroscience major says: Proper science is an art in itself. All the paper chemistry in the world won't get you high purity content in Orgo Lab.
Interaction between cells is like an orchestral concert. If the bass is off or the lead playing in the wrong octave, the whole system disintegrates. Stop being so literal
I'm usually very polite about it but skidmarks are skidmarks. You're not getting away with it when there's a 5'' flag saying you're wrong.
Wow, A 130 mph serve rivals Venus and Serena.
One of their thighs is still thicker than my waist... Totally not a fair comparison!
I'm usually polite. Usually.
The only time I'm not as polite as possible is when they point to a mark that is clearly a different one or when they just completely refuse to show me the mark.
I actually had a guy do something like this once- http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3CnX6k0snxA
Even though you are not technically required to show a mark, most people at my club (including me) are of the opinion that if you can't find the mark, the ball was in.
Why was Soderling arguing there? The point was in his favor... no?
I was just a few yards away from Serena at a tournament in LA, and TRUST ME, you do NOT want to be pinned under one of her thighs.
Nope, Soderling pointed to a mark way to the right that was out, then the official said that it was a different mark, which showed it in.
Right... then it appears that he wants to argue with the judge. I could be wrong, I didn't watch the whole thing.
So much to string...so little time
In other news, I'm contemplating buying a reel of Tourna BHB7 or BHSR...Hmmm
Iontec Black plays blegh in the BM 300 Tour. There's such a severe lack of pop even at 46# that it kills the frame for me. I'm leaving it in the hot car for a day to see if it'll remedy. It does serve nicely though-- there's a silly sense of accuracy at the sacrifice of mph and rpm.
ItB plays decently in my radicals. It's not quite what I remember the salmon being but it's still solid. Serves and volleys are still killer. Played 1st dubs at 4.5 last night and I didn't even bother hitting a flat serve, no one could handle the kick.
I have a whole bunch of stuff coming in today including Hybrix Spin, Hybrix power, Volkl Cyclone, and some more B7.
Let me know what you guys would like to see out of the following:
(Definite) B7 with 95D
Poly Star Energy
Kirschbaum Hybrix Spin/ Power
Mamba Premium Natural as a cross with Iontec mains
MPN as a full bed
Oh, and I put holes in my propulse 3s so I picked up a pair of blue SFXs on a friend's recommendation-- interesting shoe
My, my! Sorry if I offended you.
I was comparing tennis racquets and playing to musical instruments and composition and the other Arts and crafts such as woodworking/luthiery.
Stradivari did not need to know the chemical formula for the shellac that he used.
Of course, my statement was overly simplistic.
I just have an issue with some who try to describe what happens in tennis purely in terms of Physics while ignoring the Psychological aspect of the game and how we perceive reality.
I actually barely remember writing that. I kept getting woken up by my dog and I finally jumped on TT at about 2:30 in the morning while in a pretty bad mood. I completely overreacted to that post. My apologies.
As for your second statement, while in part I agree with you, the simple fact is that there is nothing special about how a string plays that can't be explained through science. Saying how a string feels really couldn't be well measured as it is a mental perception. I have had people say ALU has better feel that Wilson gut.
I was in a WHOPPING bad mood last night. I played singles for my 4.0 team and lost 4-6, 4-6 after winning the night before at 1st doubles 4.5. While the other player definitely was skilled, I ultimately beat myself. He even recognized it apparently having seen me play before
The whopping mad part? I spent a ton of time a few hours before my match finishing up my Econogut 101 thread by stringing Mamba Premium Natural Crosses @ 52 taking all the care and I manage to pop it in the first outing. I warmed up with the ItB/Mpn (50/52) for about 10 minutes then switched over to a full bed of ItB for the first set. Battled it out and lost the first set whence I decided I needed a bit more control and switched over to the hybrid. 3rd point in I finally got a good read on my opponent's serve and went to lay the hurt on the ball. Little did I know, the court was flawed and my opponent put God knows what extra on the ball but the resulting serve kicks out to my right like a slice (mind you my opponent was about 6'7'' and kicking balls over my head regularly). I hit slightly higher in the stringbed than intended and the MPN explodes. So not cool.
I checked the string before installing it and couldn't find any defects and did a clean job especially for the tutorial; I have no clue what happened:evil:
This is what I have been trying to share all along in the Mamba and econo-gut threads. Welcome to my world now
I take every precaution and time stringing up these cheaper guts and they just aren't worth the trouble anymore due to premature breakage either on the stringer, bag, or court.
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