Tier One Sports

TheFlash26

New User
Black Knight play test (part 1)
Racquet:
Prince Phantom Pro 93p 18x20
String: Black Knight 1.23mm 47lbs full bed

I cut out Firewire boost and strung up a full bed of Black Knight a few days ago. My first impression was completely cosmetic. The all black look in the Prince Phantom seems much more fitting than the red and white look of Firewire Boost. I'm a very practical person, so in the end the way the string plays is way more important to me. My second impression off the stringer was that the 1.23 BK felt a little thicker/heavier than the 1.25/1.22 FWB string. I don't know if this is objectively true, just an initial impression.

I remember not loving the first hour of hitting with FWB and really enjoying the string after the initial tension drop, so I decided to hit some ball machine ground strokes for the first hour with BK. The feel is much different! FWB felt very crisp newly strung where BK feels more muted. BK probably pockets the ball a little more, but not as much as Grapplesnake Tour Sniper. The initial tension drop was around 4 lbs after the first hour hitting which is about the same as I experienced with Firewire Boost.

Fast forward 2 days and I played 2 sets of intense singles against a strong highschool player and 1 set of doubles for a total of about 2 hours of of match play plus the first hour on the ball machine. My biggest impression of the string was that my launch angle was lower than with FWB. Control was good, but I had to be very careful to get net clearance and hit with enough spin to keep the ball from flying long. That being said, the launch angle was perfect when hitting passing shots or keeping the ball low in doubles. This string seems to be exactly as advertised. It is a balanced string that doesn't have any apparent weaknesses but also doesn't give the player anything for free. When I hit the ball just right, it responds very well. I have a hunch I would like it even better in the 18 gauge in my frame and I would love to try it in a hybrid with Ghost Wire since I loved the comfort of Firewire Boost so much. I'm missing the extra spin I got with FWB at the moment, but I'm looking forward to hitting more with BK.

Tension Log using RacquetTune app: Off the stringer: 44.5 lbs, 1 hour: 40.9 lbs, 3 hours: 39.6 lbs.
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
Black Knight play test (part 1)
Racquet:
Prince Phantom Pro 93p 18x20
String: Black Knight 1.23mm 47lbs full bed

I cut out Firewire boost and strung up a full bed of Black Knight a few days ago. My first impression was completely cosmetic. The all black look in the Prince Phantom seems much more fitting than the red and white look of Firewire Boost. I'm a very practical person, so in the end the way the string plays is way more important to me. My second impression off the stringer was that the 1.23 BK felt a little thicker/heavier than the 1.25/1.22 FWB string. I don't know if this is objectively true, just an initial impression.

I remember not loving the first hour of hitting with FWB and really enjoying the string after the initial tension drop, so I decided to hit some ball machine ground strokes for the first hour with BK. The feel is much different! FWB felt very crisp newly strung where BK feels more muted. BK probably pockets the ball a little more, but not as much as Grapplesnake Tour Sniper. The initial tension drop was around 4 lbs after the first hour hitting which is about the same as I experienced with Firewire Boost.

Fast forward 2 days and I played 2 sets of intense singles against a strong highschool player and 1 set of doubles for a total of about 2 hours of of match play plus the first hour on the ball machine. My biggest impression of the string was that my launch angle was lower than with FWB. Control was good, but I had to be very careful to get net clearance and hit with enough spin to keep the ball from flying long. That being said, the launch angle was perfect when hitting passing shots or keeping the ball low in doubles. This string seems to be exactly as advertised. It is a balanced string that doesn't have any apparent weaknesses but also doesn't give the player anything for free. When I hit the ball just right, it responds very well. I have a hunch I would like it even better in the 18 gauge in my frame and I would love to try it in a hybrid with Ghost Wire since I loved the comfort of Firewire Boost so much. I'm missing the extra spin I got with FWB at the moment, but I'm looking forward to hitting more with BK.

Tension Log using RacquetTune app: Off the stringer: 44.5 lbs, 1 hour: 40.9 lbs, 3 hours: 39.6 lbs.
I think you'd really like the 18g in your 93in 18x20.

I just bought a reel of 18g for my Angell TC97 18x20. I echo your review and will say that the 18g gives me enough spin and even a little power on off center hits. I'm really looking forward to it!

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
My experience with Black Knight was the same as @TheFlash26 in that the lower launch angle and lower power levels were the most immediately noticeable things about the string performance, with consistency of response being its best attribute. I used the 18 gauge in my SW104 and it broke after about seven hours in the sweetspot, after notching through about half way. Being an old guy, I felt like BK just didn't help me enough but I can definitely see where someone with high levels of RHS would like this string.
 

tdhawks

Semi-Pro
Used Boost 17g in my DR98’s at 46lbs. Loved it. Have yet to try it in my VCore Pro HD. Wish they made a 19g ..
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
@TierOneSportsOfficial

After reading your post in the "Is Hyper G the best poly?" thread, I have one question for you. I know what FireWire 1.30mm & 1.25mm feel like, along with Hyper G 1.30mm and 1.25mm. I am sure there are exceptions, but normally the higher the stiffness rating of most strings, the lower the tension loss. FW and BK follow the normal flow. FW is stiffer and has less tension loss per your supplied data than BK. But I am rather confused as a stringer who has not hit with Black Knight with the Tier One Recommended playing levels on your website for FW and BK.

Can you explain why Black Knight with it's lower stiffness rating and slightly higher tension loss than FireWire, would be recommended to higher level players? It seems to me BK would be more suitable to lowered rating players with it's lower stiffness rating while FireWire would be more suited for higher-level players with it's higher stiffness rating. I honestly didn't notice the lower stiffness rating of BK 1.23mm until today. I simply steered away from it, based solely on the Tire One words: "Recommended playing level: NTRP: 5.0-7.0, UTR: 9-16+ (advanced - high-performance level)"

I don't accept data as the only decision-making process in a string choice, but the stiffness of a string is a factor in my recommendations. e.g. I have a few 4.0 friends who can use Lux 4G, but they are rare exceptions. I'm just extremely careful about putting stiffer strings in the frames of lower rater players as many are hacks, and lack lessons with proper technique. The fact most players leave strings in their frames until breakage or they don't restring as frequently as they should is a factor in my recommendations to players. Playing with stiff dead poly strings for months does not bode well for a player's elbow. Players come in many levels of ability and with various string/frame stiffness tolerance as you know. I have 5.0 players who can't hit with Pure Drives without elbow pain, while 4.0 players can use a PD with the same string the same tension with no issue. I find there are very few absolutes as a stringer but have a good idea of where to start. Just would like to read Tier One's take on my question. Without providing a link to your homepage (which I think would violate TW's forum rules), here's some information from your website:

Tier One Sports: Black Knight
Black Knight 1.23mm: Stiffness: 197 (lbs/in), Tension Loss: 15.39 (lbs)

Tier One Sports: T1-Firewire

T1-Firewire 1.25mm: Stiffness: 221 (lbs/in), Tension Loss: 13.85 (lbs)

Tier One Sports: Black Knight
Who should play this string?

Recommended playing level: NTRP: 5.0-7.0, UTR: 9-16+ (advanced - high performance level)
High-level junior players from age 15 and up

Tier One Sports: T1-Firewire
Who should play this string?
Recommended playing level: NTRP: 3.0-5.0, UTR: 2.5-9.5, (intermediate - advanced level).
High level junior players from age 12 -15.


Thanks much for taking the time to read and answer. And yes, Red and Black are my favorite colors! How 'Bout Them Dawgs!!! :)
 
@TierOneSportsOfficial

After reading your post in the "Is Hyper G the best poly?" thread, I have one question for you. I know what FireWire 1.30mm & 1.25mm feel like, along with Hyper G 1.30mm and 1.25mm. I am sure there are exceptions, but normally the higher the stiffness rating of most strings, the lower the tension loss. FW and BK follow the normal flow. FW is stiffer and has less tension loss per your supplied data than BK. But I am rather confused as a stringer who has not hit with Black Knight with the Tier One Recommended playing levels on your website for FW and BK.

Can you explain why Black Knight with it's lower stiffness rating and slightly higher tension loss than FireWire, would be recommended to higher level players? It seems to me BK would be more suitable to lowered rating players with it's lower stiffness rating while FireWire would be more suited for higher-level players with it's higher stiffness rating. I honestly didn't notice the lower stiffness rating of BK 1.23mm until today. I simply steered away from it, based solely on the Tire One words: "Recommended playing level: NTRP: 5.0-7.0, UTR: 9-16+ (advanced - high-performance level)"

I don't accept data as the only decision-making process in a string choice, but the stiffness of a string is a factor in my recommendations. e.g. I have a few 4.0 friends who can use Lux 4G, but they are rare exceptions. I'm just extremely careful about putting stiffer strings in the frames of lower rater players as many are hacks, and lack lessons with proper technique. The fact most players leave strings in their frames until breakage or they don't restring as frequently as they should is a factor in my recommendations to players. Playing with stiff dead poly strings for months does not bode well for a player's elbow. Players come in many levels of ability and with various string/frame stiffness tolerance as you know. I have 5.0 players who can't hit with Pure Drives without elbow pain, while 4.0 players can use a PD with the same string the same tension with no issue. I find there are very few absolutes as a stringer but have a good idea of where to start. Just would like to read Tier One's take on my question. Without providing a link to your homepage (which I think would violate TW's forum rules), here's some information from your website:

Tier One Sports: Black Knight
Black Knight 1.23mm: Stiffness: 197 (lbs/in), Tension Loss: 15.39 (lbs)

Tier One Sports: T1-Firewire

T1-Firewire 1.25mm: Stiffness: 221 (lbs/in), Tension Loss: 13.85 (lbs)

Tier One Sports: Black Knight
Who should play this string?

Recommended playing level: NTRP: 5.0-7.0, UTR: 9-16+ (advanced - high performance level)
High-level junior players from age 15 and up

Tier One Sports: T1-Firewire
Who should play this string?
Recommended playing level: NTRP: 3.0-5.0, UTR: 2.5-9.5, (intermediate - advanced level).
High level junior players from age 12 -15.


Thanks much for taking the time to read and answer. And yes, Red and Black are my favorite colors! How 'Bout Them Dawgs!!! :)
I will to do my best to provide you with an answer:

We disagree with the statement that stiffer strings hold tension better than softer strings. For example, if you take Babolat RPM Blast 1.26mm: Stiffness: 273 (lbs/in), Tension Loss: 17.13 (lbs) and compare it to Black Knight you will see that, although RPM blast is much stiffer than Black Knight, Black Knight holds the tension better or somewhat similar. If you go through the list of tested strings by the USRSA, you will see all variations in stiffness and tension stability. (The reason why we are so excited about Black Knight and Ghost Wire is because we are now able to produce a co-polyester string that offers both, low stiffness ratings and high tension stability).

We believe the other misconception is that a softer string would play more lively than a stiffer string. As you can imagine we have done quite some play testing on our end and we think this assumption does not hold up. Our conclusion was that the shape of the string has a significant effect not only on spin potential but also on power/control, durability, etc....To say it differently, you can have 2 strings with the exact same chemical compound but in a different shape (triangular vs. hexagonal) and they will perform very differently.

Why we have player level recommendations?

High level players (DIV I college players, ITF, national level juniors, etc...) have very different needs and perceive strings quite differently from the typical competitive, recreational tennis player.

For example, high level players usually have very high rackets speeds (in comparison to to the recreational player) which consequently asks for a string that offers more control, more durability. (Spin potential is a factor but becomes secondary since those players create more spin due to their higher racket speeds).

When we recommend Firewire generally for the NTRP 3.5-4.5 players it is because a high level player would feel a lack of control with this type of string (and with Firewire in particular durability would not be appropriate). On the other hand, Firewire can be a great option for a NTRP 4.0 because of its superior spin potential which many players are looking for.

String gauge: Is an important factor in selecting a string (especially poly strings). From the data we collect we see that many players play poly strings that are much too thick!!! Why would a NTRP 3.5 play with a 16g RPM Blast? The setup is extremely stiff AND the player will never break the string. As a rule of thumb, if you play poly and you don't break it within the first 12-15 hours of play, consider going one gauge down (for example from 16g to 17g).

That said, although we offer guidelines of which string fits best for which type of player we can certainly imagine (and if we receive comprehensive information from players through our string selector questionnaire) to recommend, for example, Black Knight 18g as a great option for a NTRP 4.0.

I hope I was able answer most of your questions.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Fwiw I’ve played both strings and agree with the assessment as far as liveliness and control goes. Firewire was livelier and I much preferred Black Knight’s control.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
I will do my best to provide you with an answer:
Why we have player level recommendations?
High level players (DIV I college players, ITF, national level juniors, etc...) have very different needs and perceive strings quite differently from the typical competitive, recreational tennis player. Wholeheartedly agree.

For example, high level players usually have very high rackets speeds (in comparison to to the recreational player) which consequently asks for a string that offers more control, more durability. (Spin potential is a factor but becomes secondary since those players create more spin due to their higher racket speeds). When we recommend Firewire generally for the NTRP 3.5-4.5 players it is because a high level player would feel a lack of control with this type of string (and with Firewire in particular durability would not be appropriate). On the other hand, Firewire can be a great option for a NTRP 4.0 because of its superior spin potential which many players are looking for. Do you mean FireWire is less durable for a UTR 9+ player than BlackKnight?

String gauge: Is an important factor in selecting a string (especially poly strings). From the data we collect we see that many players play poly strings that are much too thick!!! Why would a NTRP 3.5 play with a 16g RPM Blast? The setup is extremely stiff AND the player will never break the string. As a rule of thumb, if you play poly and you don't break it within the first 12-15 hours of play, consider going one gauge down (for example from 16g to 17g). Agree again.

That said, although we offer guidelines of which string fits best for which type of player we can certainly imagine (and if we receive comprehensive information from players through our string selector questionnaire) to recommend, for example, Black Knight 18g as a great option for a NTRP 4.0. Thank you for that. I haven't purchased Black Knight based on your player recommendation, but do see your note which echos your words here, so yes, I stopped reading after I saw the player recommendation of NTRP: 5.0-7.0, UTR: 9-16+ for Black Knight.

NOTE: This string plays quite differently at 16g (1.28mm) than at 18g (1.18mm). Although Black Knight is generally recommended for high level players, at 18g this string could also become very suitable for competitive, recreational players who look for an arm-friendly, durable, control oriented string with great access to spin.

I hope I was able to answer most of your questions.
Thanks much for the detailed reply. Your explanation does helps I replied in blue in the quoted part of your post.

Evidently my statements on string stiffness and tension loss weren't clear at all. In my post, I wasn't comparing RPM Blast or any other company's products to your strings. I was specifically comparing your two strings, FireWire to Black Knight, in the closest gauge you offer of each string. My guess is each thicker gauge of Tier One's same string would be both a) stiffer and b) hold tension longer than the thinner gauge of the same Tier One string. (e.g,, comparing FW 1.30mm to FW 1.25mm I would suspect FW 1.30mm is both stiffer and has the lower tension loss. ) Per your data posted on your website, Firewire 1.25mm is both stiffer than Black Knight 1.23mm and holds tension better. My concern is having another player get TE by using a string too thick, too stiff, and too long regardless of the level of play. Had a 4.5A down from 5.0 do most likely do just that from overuse in a ladder match by simply playing too much in too short of a time. And yes, he was in fact breaking the mains of Hyper G 1.30mm/Head Hawk 1.25mm approximately every 12 hours like clockwork for over two years with no elbow or injuries at all, hence the 1.30mm Hyper G.

a )Is my interpretation of your data on FW vs BK incorrect?
b) What string would you recommend for a 4.5A or 5.0C former collegiate player in his mid-forties, using a 16x19 frame who currently uses VCT 1.30 mm as a comparison?


Your explanation about the misconception of softer stringers playing more lively is the biggest take away I get from your post. Not sure if you are aware, but it seemsTecnifibre has a theory that some of their thicker strings produce more spin. This is discussed in the TW podcast about Triax. I have no opinion or data on either subject, but yes, I do appreciate reading the manufacturers like Tier One and Tecnfibre's beliefs on their strings.

Unfortunately, my experience is most players are in fact frugal and don't like to pay for new strings at 12-15 hours. I have in fact found multiple 4.5 and 5.0 former collegiate male players who play with Volkl Cyclone Tour (VCT) 1.30mm for weeks until breakage without developing any elbow pain and they picked VCT 1.30mm, over Alu Power 1.25mm, and Hyper G 1.25mm in my blindplay test for new clients. I have put FireWire 1.25mm, Hyper G 1.25mm, and VCT 1.30mm in the frames of several juniors with collegiate scholarships, and yes some of these juniors move out of VCT 1.30mm as they progress while others are still using VCT 1.30mm in college.
 
Thanks much for the detailed reply. Your explanation does helps I replied in blue in the quoted part of your post.

Evidently my statements on string stiffness and tension loss weren't clear at all. In my post, I wasn't comparing RPM Blast or any other company's products to your strings. I was specifically comparing your two strings, FireWire to Black Knight, in the closest gauge you offer of each string. My guess is each thicker gauge of Tier One's same string would be both a) stiffer and b) hold tension longer than the thinner gauge of the same Tier One string. (e.g,, comparing FW 1.30mm to FW 1.25mm I would suspect FW 1.30mm is both stiffer and has the lower tension loss. ) Per your data posted on your website, Firewire 1.25mm is both stiffer than Black Knight 1.23mm and holds tension better. My concern is having another player get TE by using a string too thick, too stiff, and too long regardless of the level of play. Had a 4.5A down from 5.0 do most likely do just that from overuse in a ladder match by simply playing too much in too short of a time. And yes, he was in fact breaking the mains of Hyper G 1.30mm/Head Hawk 1.25mm approximately every 12 hours like clockwork for over two years with no elbow or injuries at all, hence the 1.30mm Hyper G.

a )Is my interpretation of your data on FW vs BK incorrect?
b) What string would you recommend for a 4.5A or 5.0C former collegiate player in his mid-forties, using a 16x19 frame who currently uses VCT 1.30 mm as a comparison?


Your explanation about the misconception of softer stringers playing more lively is the biggest take away I get from your post. Not sure if you are aware, but it seemsTecnifibre has a theory that some of their thicker strings produce more spin. This is discussed in the TW podcast about Triax. I have no opinion or data on either subject, but yes, I do appreciate reading the manufacturers like Tier One and Tecnfibre's beliefs on their strings.

Unfortunately, my experience is most players are in fact frugal and don't like to pay for new strings at 12-15 hours. I have in fact found multiple 4.5 and 5.0 former collegiate male players who play with Volkl Cyclone Tour (VCT) 1.30mm for weeks until breakage without developing any elbow pain and they picked VCT 1.30mm, over Alu Power 1.25mm, and Hyper G 1.25mm in my blindplay test for new clients. I have put FireWire 1.25mm, Hyper G 1.25mm, and VCT 1.30mm in the frames of several juniors with collegiate scholarships, and yes some of these juniors move out of VCT 1.30mm as they progress while others are still using VCT 1.30mm in college.
Yes, you could assume that one and same string in different gauges holds tension longer in a thicker gauge (usually you can see that at very thin gauges (1.10mm) tension stability starts to drop off quite significantly, even if the over tension stability is high)

TE: Every person responds differently to stiff tennis strings. Some people are very sensitive, some are not at all. Often, unsound biomechanical strokes can contribute to arm pain (especially late contact and consequently trying to "muscle the ball").
If you have tendencies of arm pain we would highly recommend not playing ANY poly longer than 12-15 hours.

Player without arm pains: Secondly, playing a co-poly longer than 12-15 hours (or even quite shorter) will change the playing experience quite strongly. Depending on the accuracy of playing response that is required from a string in your situation, you want to play shorter or longer (thus pro players only playing for about 30-45 min before changing the racket).

String recommendation: As we know "college player" can mean a lot of things. A DIV 3 college player playing at 6 for the team is quite different than playing 1 for Stanford. :). I can only say from my personal experience, I am a former DIV 1 college player for a decent tema, now in my 40s, I LOVE the Black Knight and Ghost Wire 17g hybrid setup. I look for control, crisp response, good access to spin, arm friendliness and good tension stability. This setup offers me all of those factors.

Hope that helps!
 

TheFlash26

New User
In my limited time hitting with Black Knight, I think I agree with Tier One's level recommendation for the most part. With a full bed of Black Knight I have to be very aware of my technique and swing path to unlock the control of the stringbed because the launch angle is quite low. I was a 4.5 in my younger days and am probably a high-level 4.0 to low-level 4.5 at this point and the full bed of BK really tests me. When I pass the test (hit with great technique and RHS) the feel and control is fantastic. But I also know I'm going to be punished on my lazy footwork shots. The string doesn't give much for free and I would probably unlock even more control if I was consistantly hitting a 5.0+ level ball.

At the same time, if I chose to hit with a more powerful, open string pattern racquet, I think BK would be a great fit even at a high 4.0 or 4.5 level due to the control and lower launch angle.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Thanks much for the detailed reply. Your explanation does helps I replied in blue in the quoted part of your post.

Evidently my statements on string stiffness and tension loss weren't clear at all. In my post, I wasn't comparing RPM Blast or any other company's products to your strings. I was specifically comparing your two strings, FireWire to Black Knight, in the closest gauge you offer of each string. My guess is each thicker gauge of Tier One's same string would be both a) stiffer and b) hold tension longer than the thinner gauge of the same Tier One string. (e.g,, comparing FW 1.30mm to FW 1.25mm I would suspect FW 1.30mm is both stiffer and has the lower tension loss. ) Per your data posted on your website, Firewire 1.25mm is both stiffer than Black Knight 1.23mm and holds tension better. My concern is having another player get TE by using a string too thick, too stiff, and too long regardless of the level of play. Had a 4.5A down from 5.0 do most likely do just that from overuse in a ladder match by simply playing too much in too short of a time. And yes, he was in fact breaking the mains of Hyper G 1.30mm/Head Hawk 1.25mm approximately every 12 hours like clockwork for over two years with no elbow or injuries at all, hence the 1.30mm Hyper G.

a )Is my interpretation of your data on FW vs BK incorrect?
b) What string would you recommend for a 4.5A or 5.0C former collegiate player in his mid-forties, using a 16x19 frame who currently uses VCT 1.30 mm as a comparison?


Your explanation about the misconception of softer stringers playing more lively is the biggest take away I get from your post. Not sure if you are aware, but it seemsTecnifibre has a theory that some of their thicker strings produce more spin. This is discussed in the TW podcast about Triax. I have no opinion or data on either subject, but yes, I do appreciate reading the manufacturers like Tier One and Tecnfibre's beliefs on their strings.

Unfortunately, my experience is most players are in fact frugal and don't like to pay for new strings at 12-15 hours. I have in fact found multiple 4.5 and 5.0 former collegiate male players who play with Volkl Cyclone Tour (VCT) 1.30mm for weeks until breakage without developing any elbow pain and they picked VCT 1.30mm, over Alu Power 1.25mm, and Hyper G 1.25mm in my blindplay test for new

Really?
 

JOSHL

Hall of Fame
Yes, you could assume that one and same string in different gauges holds tension longer in a thicker gauge (usually you can see that at very thin gauges (1.10mm) tension stability starts to drop off quite significantly, even if the over tension stability is high)

TE: Every person responds differently to stiff tennis strings. Some people are very sensitive, some are not at all. Often, unsound biomechanical strokes can contribute to arm pain (especially late contact and consequently trying to "muscle the ball").
If you have tendencies of arm pain we would highly recommend not playing ANY poly longer than 12-15 hours.

Player without arm pains: Secondly, playing a co-poly longer than 12-15 hours (or even quite shorter) will change the playing experience quite strongly. Depending on the accuracy of playing response that is required from a string in your situation, you want to play shorter or longer (thus pro players only playing for about 30-45 min before changing the racket).

String recommendation: As we know "college player" can mean a lot of things. A DIV 3 college player playing at 6 for the team is quite different than playing 1 for Stanford. :). I can only say from my personal experience, I am a former DIV 1 college player for a decent tema, now in my 40s, I LOVE the Black Knight and Ghost Wire 17g hybrid setup. I look for control, crisp response, good access to spin, arm friendliness and good tension stability. This setup offers me all of those factors.

Hope that helps!
What racquet do you use???
 

MAPE

Rookie
I just purchased the introductory package including Triumph. I play with Wilson Clash 98 very much because of previous TE problems. I figure that a full bed of Triumph or GW may be too soft in a already soft racquet. Any recommendations on hybrids with Triumph and/or GW as crosses (including potential tension differential). I hit fairly flat strokes and my go to tension is 22kg. Advice would be much appreciated!!
 

t_pac

Semi-Pro
I just purchased the introductory package including Triumph. I play with Wilson Clash 98 very much because of previous TE problems. I figure that a full bed of Triumph or GW may be too soft in a already soft racquet. Any recommendations on hybrids with Triumph and/or GW as crosses (including potential tension differential). I hit fairly flat strokes and my go to tension is 22kg. Advice would be much appreciated!!
Black Knight / Ghostwire is awesome. I have it in my Prince Tours at 46/44

Triumph is one of may favourite multis for a multi/poly combo but can't see it lasting long in a clash.
 
I just purchased the introductory package including Triumph. I play with Wilson Clash 98 very much because of previous TE problems. I figure that a full bed of Triumph or GW may be too soft in a already soft racquet. Any recommendations on hybrids with Triumph and/or GW as crosses (including potential tension differential). I hit fairly flat strokes and my go to tension is 22kg. Advice would be much appreciated!!
If you usually string your racket at 22kg with a poly I would string GW the same tension and Triumph 2kg tighter.
 

t_pac

Semi-Pro
Yeah I'm not a fan of Poly/Multi setups, so I always use multi in the mains.

Breaks fast but plays great.
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
After a 3 month string testing adventure I have officially committed to Black Knight 18g. I play an Angell V3 TC97 18x20. It is everything it is advertised to be, a fantastic all-around string. The #1 thing that made me commit was its rock solid consistency. There are no "weird shots" where everything felt fine but the ball launched too high or didn't have enough spin. Black Knight gives you the same result for the same swing every time which is awesome!

The other strings in my playtest included:

Ashaway Crossfire ZX hybrid - This was pre-stretched per recommendations strung at 60/40. Spin was awesome and once the stringbed softened up it also played really consistently, but I also gave myself a pretty bad case of wrist/forearm tendonitis. I will not wholly blame the Kevlar because I also played about 40+ hours of tennis in a two week period which is close to 3x what I normally play so I probably would have gotten tendonitis from anything.

Volkl Cyclone 17g (1.25) - Played this for a long time, finished off my reel. It is just too stiff for me at this point. Spin and control is outstanding and you get some free power once the string bed settles in. Maybe if I had been more patient I would have ordered a set of 18g Cyclone and Cyclone Tour (supposed to be softer) to put up against BK, but I am plenty happy with my choice at this point.

MSV Focus Hex 18g (1.15) - This is my most recent long term string commitment from last year. Really enjoyed this string. Best quality is it feels broken in right off the stringing machine. However, between BK at 1.18 and MSV at 1.15 I could notice the unpredictability from the MSV especially when played side by side. MSV tension loss also seems to happen quicker, so once it starts to drop it can launch balls much further than you want.

Tier 1 demo package - Tried out the full line. None of them were bad strings. But BK was the standout. I created two sets of FireWire Boost instead of putting in a full bed of firewire. The Boost hybrid was the most comfortable setup from the whole string odyssey. Spin was, of course, very fun to fool around with. But for me, I wanted more precision. Boost also felt a little underpowered, not a bad thing but something to consider. If you play a Pure Drive or an AeroPro it would probably be cheating to play with the 16g Boost hybrid :)

So, bottom line, I am really looking forward to the next year where I finally have a full racket setup that isn't going to change!
 

mctennis

Legend
After a 3 month string testing adventure I have officially committed to Black Knight 18g. I play an Angell V3 TC97 18x20. It is everything it is advertised to be, a fantastic all-around string. The #1 thing that made me commit was its rock solid consistency. There are no "weird shots" where everything felt fine but the ball launched too high or didn't have enough spin. Black Knight gives you the same result for the same swing every time which is awesome!
What tension(s) do you like the best with the 18X20 frame with the BK string? You are using a full bed of BK, correct? Approximately how long does this setup last before you need to restring?
I just received the Tier One demo pack. I was going through them to decide what ones to try out. If you have already done that I may just try the BK first.
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
What tension(s) do you like the best with the 18X20 frame with the BK string? You are using a full bed of BK, correct? Approximately how long does this setup last before you need to restring?
I just received the Tier One demo pack. I was going through them to decide what ones to try out. If you have already done that I may just try the BK first.
I string BK (full bed) at 48lbs. I actually haven't cut out my original demo pack. I have 3x frames. So, 2 have brand new string jobs, and the 3rd has the original demo pack.

The original demo has apx 10-12hrs and still going strong. I actually liked BK even more once it broke in around the 2hr mark. Softens up a bit more and you get a little extra power, but overall output still stays extremely predictable.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
 
Yes, you could assume that one and same string in different gauges holds tension longer in a thicker gauge (usually you can see that at very thin gauges (1.10mm) tension stability starts to drop off quite significantly, even if the over tension stability is high)

TE: Every person responds differently to stiff tennis strings. Some people are very sensitive, some are not at all. Often, unsound biomechanical strokes can contribute to arm pain (especially late contact and consequently trying to "muscle the ball").
If you have tendencies of arm pain we would highly recommend not playing ANY poly longer than 12-15 hours.

Player without arm pains: Secondly, playing a co-poly longer than 12-15 hours (or even quite shorter) will change the playing experience quite strongly. Depending on the accuracy of playing response that is required from a string in your situation, you want to play shorter or longer (thus pro players only playing for about 30-45 min before changing the racket).

String recommendation: As we know "college player" can mean a lot of things. A DIV 3 college player playing at 6 for the team is quite different than playing 1 for Stanford. :). I can only say from my personal experience, I am a former DIV 1 college player for a decent tema, now in my 40s, I LOVE the Black Knight and Ghost Wire 17g hybrid setup. I look for control, crisp response, good access to spin, arm friendliness and good tension stability. This setup offers me all of those factors.

Hope that helps!
I recently switched to GW, and I am very happy with it. Incredibly soft, and I'm surprised at just how well it is holding its tension. I'm playing with it in a full bed. I recently picked up a pack of the FW Boost, but haven't strung it up yet. I'm also intrigued with BK, considering how many positive reviews it's getting. My old string was the Tourna BHB, but I don't think I'll return to that one any time soon!
 

SonRK

Semi-Pro
Saw the instagram ad for the introductory package, but looks like theyre sold out. Willing to give these a try once that's back in stock.
 

BenC

Rookie
Tried GW 16g at 45 lbs in a full bed but it seemed to lose its snapback within an hour. It didn't become harsh enough to cause my problems with sensitive elbow, but it was no longer as plush as it was when fresh off the stringer.

I then tried a hybrid with GW 16g mains and Dunlop Explosive 16g crosses (had some from a trade) and it seems to stay unlocked and retain its initial feel much longer. My theory is that the Dunlop poly may be stiffer, but it also has a harder surface that doesn't wear down as quickly so the stringbed stays unlocked for longer. 2 hours on this setup so far and it seems to be holding up.
 

beltsman

Legend
How do you compare between BK and Tour Status in hybrid with GW or full job? Also any comparison you can make with Solinco Confidential?
Haven't used Confidential.

Haven't done a BK/GW hybrid. In fact, I'm not sure if I've done a TS/GW hybrid. I think only Firewire/GW and TS/Firewire.

But I found TS to be softer and more powerful than BK. Better for less advanced players. At least that was my view (as a less advanced player). I like the consistent response but it has more bite than round polys. But lower launch angle than FW.
 

wwbyun

New User
Haven't used Confidential.

Haven't done a BK/GW hybrid. In fact, I'm not sure if I've done a TS/GW hybrid. I think only Firewire/GW and TS/Firewire.

But I found TS to be softer and more powerful than BK. Better for less advanced players. At least that was my view (as a less advanced player). I like the consistent response but it has more bite than round polys. But lower launch angle than FW.
That's exactly what I felt. TS is in the middle between BK and FW in terms of stiffness, control, spin, launch angle when it was in main with GW crosses.
Have you noticed any performance difference between black and red TS and FW?
 

beltsman

Legend
That's exactly what I felt. TS is in the middle between BK and FW in terms of stiffness, control, spin, launch angle when it was in main with GW crosses.
Have you noticed any performance difference between black and red TS and FW?
Only used black FW!
 
Have done twice now BK GW hybrid (53/51 in a vcore 95) and it is a very reliable string, very consistent, a lot of control, I am loving it, and it lasts a bit more than 8-9 hours if I accept that I will have to put some more top spin at the latter stages. Very impressed by the confidence I get from it, it is only lacking a bit of pop but I trade this off against feeling confident in my full swings!
 

mctennis

Legend
Have done twice now BK GW hybrid (53/51 in a vcore 95) and it is a very reliable string, very consistent, a lot of control, I am loving it, and it lasts a bit more than 8-9 hours if I accept that I will have to put some more top spin at the latter stages. Very impressed by the confidence I get from it, it is only lacking a bit of pop but I trade this off against feeling confident in my full swings!
All this BK/GW lasts is only about 9 hours?
 
@mctennis
I'm playing BK crosses and nylon mains. It last about 10-12 hours and the "pop" as @williamthurman said is generally gone. This weekend I tried playing with the combo past the 12 hour mark, and while certainly 'playable', there was noticeable loss of directional control and I could feel a little joint fatigue starting in my elbow. The first ten hours, though, are filled with precise control and nice blend of spin and pace with no stress on the hitting arm.
 

Remioli

Rookie
Hey I got a set of each of tier one’s polys. Does anyone know their most and least arm friendly string? I assume ghost wire is the most arm friendly?
 
Hey I got a set of each of tier one’s polys. Does anyone know their most and least arm friendly string? I assume ghost wire is the most arm friendly?
Non of our strings are overly stiff. From the top of my head I would say Durafluxx 16g might be the stiffest. Yes, Ghost Wire and Black Knight are the softest.
 

Mirko

New User
Non of our strings are overly stiff. From the top of my head I would say Durafluxx 16g might be the stiffest. Yes, Ghost Wire and Black Knight are the softest.
I think ghost wire and SF RIP are the softest of your strings. I really like SF RIP 17G as cross with nat gut in clash 100 tour. It is low powerd, very soft and control oriented string. I don't know other string on the market that is that soft, low powerd and control oriented. The only problem with it is that it hold tension only 4 hour as cross in my set up.
I hope you as a company can make a new version of it, that hold tension better and also a round version of it will be great.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I think ghost wire and SF RIP are the softest of your strings. I really like SF RIP 17G as cross with nat gut in clash 100 tour. It is low powerd, very soft and control oriented string. I don't know other string on the market that is that soft, low powerd and control oriented. The only problem with it is that it hold tension only 4 hour as cross in my set up.
I hope you as a company can make a new version of it, that hold tension better and also a round version of it will be great.
Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 118Polyester1.1917119.31

Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 123Polyester1.2318321.94

I have a similar experience with SF 17. Given the stats, SF 18 strung a bit higher should probably play the same but have better tension maintenance. Maybe squeeze a few more hrs out of it.
 
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Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 118Polyester1.1917119.31

Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 123Polyester1.2318321.94

I have a similar experience with SF 17. Given the stats, SF 18 strung a bit higher should probably play the same but have better tension maintenance. Maybe squeeze a few more hrs out of it.
We agree, Strike Force RIP plays extremely smooth. We do have customers who love this string because of the response this string offers. One of the disadvantages of this string is that it does not offer the recoil that you would expect from a poly string. So it is important for us to emphasize this particular aspect of Strike Force (we want to make sure this is not a surprise and consequently unhappy customers :))
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
In case you aren't on their mailing list, Tier One appears to have a French Open sale special occurring now through Oct. 4.

30% off orders with code: FRENCHOPEN2020

Enjoy.
 

TheFlash26

New User
Black Knight play test (part 1)
Racquet:
Prince Phantom Pro 93p 18x20
String: Black Knight 1.23mm 47lbs full bed

I cut out Firewire boost and strung up a full bed of Black Knight a few days ago. My first impression was completely cosmetic. The all black look in the Prince Phantom seems much more fitting than the red and white look of Firewire Boost. I'm a very practical person, so in the end the way the string plays is way more important to me. My second impression off the stringer was that the 1.23 BK felt a little thicker/heavier than the 1.25/1.22 FWB string. I don't know if this is objectively true, just an initial impression.

I remember not loving the first hour of hitting with FWB and really enjoying the string after the initial tension drop, so I decided to hit some ball machine ground strokes for the first hour with BK. The feel is much different! FWB felt very crisp newly strung where BK feels more muted. BK probably pockets the ball a little more, but not as much as Grapplesnake Tour Sniper. The initial tension drop was around 4 lbs after the first hour hitting which is about the same as I experienced with Firewire Boost.

Fast forward 2 days and I played 2 sets of intense singles against a strong highschool player and 1 set of doubles for a total of about 2 hours of of match play plus the first hour on the ball machine. My biggest impression of the string was that my launch angle was lower than with FWB. Control was good, but I had to be very careful to get net clearance and hit with enough spin to keep the ball from flying long. That being said, the launch angle was perfect when hitting passing shots or keeping the ball low in doubles. This string seems to be exactly as advertised. It is a balanced string that doesn't have any apparent weaknesses but also doesn't give the player anything for free. When I hit the ball just right, it responds very well. I have a hunch I would like it even better in the 18 gauge in my frame and I would love to try it in a hybrid with Ghost Wire since I loved the comfort of Firewire Boost so much. I'm missing the extra spin I got with FWB at the moment, but I'm looking forward to hitting more with BK.
Black Knight play test (part 2)
Racquet:
Prince Phantom Pro 93p 18x20
String: Black Knight 1.23mm 47lbs full bed

The weather is turning colder with more frequent rain so I've had trouble getting out to play consistently. Never the less, it's been about a month since stringing up with Black Knight 1.23mm and I'm ready to give it my scores after a first play test. I played two sets of singles this morning in 45 degree (F) weather. I actually played some great tennis and the BK strings are still playing pretty well after about 10 hours. The tension has stayed in the high 30's since the 3 hour mark. I agree with my first impressions that this string doesn't give anything for free but rewards good technique. Feedback was excellent even with the muted feel. I could really tell where on the racquet head I was hitting the ball and yet don't have any harsh feelings in my arm even when I miss the sweetspot.

My Final scores out of 10:
Power: 7 Power was not very evident for the first 4 hours, but once the tension dropped into the low 40's I had enough for put away shots.
Spin: 7 This isn't a super spinny string, but I had enough if my technique was good. Slices were great and stayed nice and low.
Comfort: 8 Comfort is very good. I think if I hybrid this with Ghost Wire, it will be even better.
Control: 9 Control was right on the money. On days when I was moving well I felt I could play any shot to any part of the court.
Feel/Touch: 8.5 The feel is muted but not too squishy. Ball pocketing is good but not amazing. The best part of this string is simply that the feel is consistent...every shot...every time out...even 1 month later.
String Movement: 9.5 No string adjustments needed.
Tension maintanence: 9 One month later and the tension is still within 7 lbs of what it was off the stringer. The strings are starting to notch and lock a little, but I don't feel the need to restring yet after 10 hours.
Tension Log using RacquetTune app: Off the stringer: 44.5 lbs, 1 hour: 40.9 lbs, 3 hours: 39.6 lbs, 5 hours: 39.4, 10 hours: 37.7

Overall: 8.3/10 BK is a great string. I might play a little better with the extra spin from Firewire Boost, but the control and feel are excellent with this string. I just bought a reel of 1.18mm Ghost Wire. I'm going to try BK as a hybrid next time with GW in the crosses. I have to say, I think Tier One is making some pretty amazing strings in the sub-$10 price point.
 
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