Tried a bunch of polys - results here: 1. Hyper-G, 2....

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
It is interesting though I don't really have friends that use ALU. It seems like the better players and kids are using more modern strings and the older players like me that use hybrids are using cheaper ALU type knock offs for crosses as there really is no need to spend that much for that purpose.
Very true, best string on earth losing popularity.

I used it for 15 years and just switched to something cheaper and more durable last year.

J
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Luxilon Big Banger Original 16 vs. Luxilon ALU Power 16: Initial Impressions

I strung the ALU up about 5 pounds tighter than the BBO. My reference tension was 55 for the ALU and 50 for BBO. This is in my Yonex VCORE 95 Red. I use a drop weight stringer with plastic floating clamps, so my RaquetTune readings are usually about 10 pounds lower than my reference tension. In this case, the ALU racquet was reading 49 off the stringer and 45 after the drill. BBO was reading 45 off the stringer and 40 after the drill. The drill was two days after the racquets were strung, so each lost about 5 pounds of tension from sitting around for a few days and one hour of hitting.

I played for an hour with each in a pretty fast-paced drill with just two players and one coach. Plenty of balls were hit.

I’m glad I tested these out for myself instead of just trying to form an impression based on all the different reviews and opinions. I would have bet that ALU Power would have less control and more power compared to BBO, but for me, it was just the opposite.

They are similar on full-speed, well-struck ground strokes. I’d say ALU is more comfortable, but it doesn’t shoot the ball off any deeper or higher than BBO.

One shot where I can really tell the difference in control level between strings is when I’m returning overheads during the warmup. With the ALU setup, I hitting absolutely perfect shots back. This guy was hitting his overheads hard, and I was just popping lobs back up that were better than any drop-fed lob I could ever hit. Just perfectly meeting the ball off the bounce of his overhead and putting it right back up in his strike zone for the next overhead.

With the BBO, I was getting a more unpredictable response with that shot, having to finesse it a little bit more. I suppose the 5 pound tension difference contributed, but from what I heard, BBO plays a lot stiffer, so I’m not sure if that’s the only factor. I felt it this difference in control level on volleys, too. With the ALU, I just could not miss. Just totally dialed-in. Sometimes when I’m really trying to stick my volleys by hitting them square and hitting a deep, penetrating shot, it feels like there’s a big risk of hitting too deep. With the ALU, I didn’t have to add any shape or spin to those volleys to keep them in. No trade off. Still hit the ball square in the middle of the strings, but no worry about it going too deep.

Not sure ALU is that much more impressive than Kirschbaum Max Power or Tier One Black Knight, though. If my goal is to settle on a string and buy reels to save money, I’d probably pass on ALU. But right now my goal is to experiment with strings. Maybe forever.

I do think I’ve found my sweet spot for tension, though. String the mains at 55. I string the middle 4 mains at 65 to make up the shortcuts and shortcomings I’m dealing with with my plastic floating clamps. I string the next 3 mains at 55, and then the outer main at 65. This seems to be helping me mitigate the losses inherent to my technique and equipment. I’ve been stringing the top two crosses at about 60, the rest of the crosses at 55, and then the bottom cross at 65.

I still have two new string jobs that I haven’t tested...that’s because I put them in my Prince Phantoms, and I’m not willing to take those out in a drill or match play. I need to have some time to “just hit” with those, because those racquets swing nothing like the VCORE 95s and it’s just too much of a transition to play around with while I’m trying to win points. One of them is strung with Revolve, and the other is Ghost Wire. I know the Ghost Wire is going to be a fail already, based on just a few hits with it, but I just love trying things at the extremes, so I had to see what all the hype was about with how soft this string is. Will report later when I have a chance to just hit or maybe get a good session in with the ball machine. More curious about Revolve, as it felt kind of similar to Ghost Wire when I was stringing it. Maybe more elastic? Feels very interesting.
It's because you strung Alu 5 pounds tighter, when comparing strings I would use the same tension for both.
 

rosheem

Rookie
It's because you strung Alu 5 pounds tighter, when comparing strings I would use the same tension for both.
Yeah, I was on the fence on that one. Went with 5 pounds less because I was reading lots of reports of BBO being much stiffer in a full bed vs. a full bed of ALU. Probably should have gone with the equal comparison. I have a sense that I'd still prefer the ALU, though. Either way, I'm leaning towards Kirschbaum Max Power, or maybe Black Knight. I'd like to give the Luxilon setups another few hours of testing, though.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Very true, best string on earth losing popularity.

I used it for 15 years and just switched to something cheaper and more durable last year.

J
I am slowly trying to swap out sets of string I had in inventory with reels. I bought several sets of ALU when it was on sale (I think it was last holiday season) and I am not sure I have used it at all so in the case of ALU I have not bothered buying a reel. It just sits there in my rack.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I am slowly trying to swap out sets of string I had in inventory with reels. I bought several sets of ALU when it was on sale (I think it was last holiday season) and I am not sure I have used it at all so in the case of ALU I have not bothered buying a reel. It just sits there in my rack.
Yea, I use it here and there, still have a few sets on the wall, but very few people are justifying the cost/hour these days. They seem to prefer a lighter, more open racquet and a cheaper string.

J
 

rosheem

Rookie
Okay, Luxilon ALU and BBO are both OUT. BBO reading around 40lbs on RacquetTune and ALU at 45lbs. Nothing magical offered by these strings at these tensions to be worth the risk of the elbow acting up.

I don't have major tennis elbow issues, but when a string is too harsh, I can feel it. The only strings that have felt harsh out of the ones I've tried are these Luxilon strings, Weiscannon Ultracable, and Volkl Cyclone.

So right now, it's down to Black Knight and Max Power. Oh, I do have a set of Yonex PTP that I still want to revisit. I used to love that string about 5 years ago, so I need to at least give it a shot. I also want to try this Tier One Durafluxx toward the low end of my tension window.
 

Louis33

Rookie
Okay, Luxilon ALU and BBO are both OUT. BBO reading around 40lbs on RacquetTune and ALU at 45lbs. Nothing magical offered by these strings at these tensions to be worth the risk of the elbow acting up.

I don't have major tennis elbow issues, but when a string is too harsh, I can feel it. The only strings that have felt harsh out of the ones I've tried are these Luxilon strings, Weiscannon Ultracable, and Volkl Cyclone.

So right now, it's down to Black Knight and Max Power. Oh, I do have a set of Yonex PTP that I still want to revisit. I used to love that string about 5 years ago, so I need to at least give it a shot. I also want to try this Tier One Durafluxx toward the low end of my tension window.
Try black knight mains/max power crosses.
 

Louis33

Rookie
Interesting. I haven’t started playing around with poly/poly hybrids.
What would you say is the biggest difference with the hybrid vs a full bed of Black Knight?
I have not played black knight yet, but will be testing soon with black knight/ghostwire and black knight/max power. Max power is my favorite poly cross because it plays so consistent and gives a nice crisp feel. Max power being round and smooth as a cross paired with black knight being shaped in the mains might give you something extra compared to playing each full bed. Would be worth trying since you enjoy both of these strings.
 

rosheem

Rookie
Knocked a few more strings off my list:

Tier One Firewire: Too launchy.

Tier One Durafluxx. Too launchy.

Max Power and Black Knight are my current top 2. I'm going to get a few sets of each and see which one wins.
 
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Knocked a few more strings off my list:

Tier One Firewire: Too launchy.

Tier One Durafluxx. Too launchy.

Max Power and Black Knight are my current top 2. I'm going to get a few sets of each and see which one wins.
Firewire makes sense...a bit surprised about Durafluxx being too launchy. Usually players perceive it as a low-powered control string.

We love to hear everybody’s feedback though!
 

rosheem

Rookie
Firewire makes sense...a bit surprised about Durafluxx being too launchy. Usually players perceive it as a low-powered control string.

We love to hear everybody’s feedback though!
Could be because I strung it at 50, which is a bit lower than usual. I was anticipating that it might be too boardy above that. But Kirschbaum Max Power and Luxilon ALU at 50 had much less trampoline effect than Durafluxx. I think Black Knight had better control. Can string a bit tighter, because it does have some elasticity and dampening, but without the trampoline.

Black Knight seems to offer the best of the rubbery-ish feeling polys like Max Power and ALU, with a bit of a crispy edge to it like Cyclone. Very unique and so far, it’s the one string I’ve been able to swing balls-to-the-wall and feel like the harder I swing, the more control I have.
 

blai212

Professional
Firewire makes sense...a bit surprised about Durafluxx being too launchy. Usually players perceive it as a low-powered control string.

We love to hear everybody’s feedback though!
not sure how everyone says firewire is comfortable...felt quite harsh/jarring to me on multiple occasions
 

flanker2000fr

Professional
It seems the feedback around 4g is all over the place with people either saying it’s soft or stiff as a brick.
I have no idea how anyone can find the regular 4G to be a soft string. It's pretty stiff, and the 259 stiffness rating from TW confirms it. 4G Soft is markedly more comfortable, but even then it has about the same stiffness as regular Hyper G.
 

rosheem

Rookie
Quick update: Kirschbaum Max Power 16g is emerging as the front runner for my go-to string. I’m stringing it at 50M/48C on my drop weight. RacquetTune reads 44lbs off the stringer, 42 after a doubles match.
It’s a string that I can string low enough to maintain some good feel and pocketing, but there is no trampoline effect at all. It hardly stretches at all during stringing. The drop weight arm just sits there like a dead fish.
The coating on these strings reminds me of duct tape. It has a soft, rubbery feel. It is muted but not mushy.
The launch angle is super low. The response is super predictable.
I’m giving Black Knight one more try, but it will be tough to beat Max Power. Black Knight is a unique string. Most shaped polys are plastic-y. BK is more on the rubbery side. Slightly more elasticity than Max Power, but it still plays pretty dead.
It may come down to the degree of muted-ness. BK is less muted and can feel a little tinny on slower shots, but it offers a bit more grab, which translates to a sensation of prolonged contact. Someday I might try BK mains and Max Power crosses. Could be the best of all worlds.
 

Grinch

Rookie
Is anyone worried about so much talk about TierOne stings ... when tt host TW doesn’t sell TierOne strings.
 

crash

Rookie
Quick update: Kirschbaum Max Power 16g is emerging as the front runner for my go-to string. I’m stringing it at 50M/48C on my drop weight. RacquetTune reads 44lbs off the stringer, 42 after a doubles match.
It’s a string that I can string low enough to maintain some good feel and pocketing, but there is no trampoline effect at all. It hardly stretches at all during stringing. The drop weight arm just sits there like a dead fish.
The coating on these strings reminds me of duct tape. It has a soft, rubbery feel. It is muted but not mushy.
The launch angle is super low. The response is super predictable.
I’m giving Black Knight one more try, but it will be tough to beat Max Power. Black Knight is a unique string. Most shaped polys are plastic-y. BK is more on the rubbery side. Slightly more elasticity than Max Power, but it still plays pretty dead.
It may come down to the degree of muted-ness. BK is less muted and can feel a little tinny on slower shots, but it offers a bit more grab, which translates to a sensation of prolonged contact. Someday I might try BK mains and Max Power crosses. Could be the best of all worlds.
Curious if you ever tried the BK/Max Power hybrid. I'm testing a bunch of strings these days and so far these two are my favorites (when factoring in price). I like the stiff feel and good tension maintenance of Max Power and the spin and durability of BK and wondering if the hybrid could end up being better than either in full bed.
 

rosheem

Rookie
Curious if you ever tried the BK/Max Power hybrid. I'm testing a bunch of strings these days and so far these two are my favorites (when factoring in price). I like the stiff feel and good tension maintenance of Max Power and the spin and durability of BK and wondering if the hybrid could end up being better than either in full bed.
Hmmm. That might be a good hybrid.

The more I play with Black Knight, though, the less I care about trying anything else. I went back to Max Power for a set after a few weeks of Black Knight, and I was actually making more errors (too deep) with Max Power. I bought a reel of BK and I won't be looking back for a while.
 

megamind

Legend
Hmmm. That might be a good hybrid.

The more I play with Black Knight, though, the less I care about trying anything else. I went back to Max Power for a set after a few weeks of Black Knight, and I was actually making more errors (too deep) with Max Power. I bought a reel of BK and I won't be looking back for a while.
Have you tried Black Knight mains / Ghost Wire crosses
 

rosheem

Rookie
Have you tried Black Knight mains / Ghost Wire crosses
Have not. I tried ghost wire in a full bed and it was not my thing. I’m not sure what the benefit would be if a full bed of BK already provides plenty of feel and I’m not looking for more power or to soften up the stringbed. Maybe the mains wouldn’t notch quite as fast? But when my mains start getting notched to where it makes a difference, I’m ready for freshies anyway.
 

taydbear7

Semi-Pro
I see you had Weiss Cannon UC on the list. Did you test that one yet? I will tell you right now you won't like it.
 

rosheem

Rookie
I see you had Weiss Cannon UC on the list. Did you test that one yet? I will tell you right now you won't like it.
Hated it. I’d have to string it at 20lbs for it to feel like anything other than guitar string. But that would mean I’d have to string it again. It was the worst string to install, hands down. I’d expect better depth control if I’m trading off all sense of feel, but no. Cheap plastic.
 

blai212

Professional
Have not. I tried ghost wire in a full bed and it was not my thing. I’m not sure what the benefit would be if a full bed of BK already provides plenty of feel and I’m not looking for more power or to soften up the stringbed. Maybe the mains wouldn’t notch quite as fast? But when my mains start getting notched to where it makes a difference, I’m ready for freshies anyway.
Have you tried SPPP? I did BK 16g mains / SPPP 17L at 38/36 and loved it. SPPP is a slick round copoly with muted low powered feel that has great tension maintenance and dies a very slowly and linearly. I also found that SPPP hextreme is a better version of hyperG; it maintains sharpness longer while having similar attributes such as playability duration/tension maintenance/feel/control.
 

drak

Hall of Fame
Hmmm. That might be a good hybrid.

The more I play with Black Knight, though, the less I care about trying anything else. I went back to Max Power for a set after a few weeks of Black Knight, and I was actually making more errors (too deep) with Max Power. I bought a reel of BK and I won't be looking back for a while.
I much preferred Hyper G soft mains/GW crosses to BK/GW crosses
 
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