Recently I've been asking stringers about the details of their work and I'm amazed at the variety of answers. One local chain, which strings for ATP events, automatically adds 10% tension to the last four (outside) crosses and mains unless given other instructions. So of 16 mains the center 8 are at reference tension and the outside 8 are +10%. Same goes for top and bottom crosses. Another fellow who does very clean, neat work keeps the entire bed at reference if not otherwise specified. A guy who goes to the GSSS every year and who also does very clean work (eg NO friction burn on natural gut) subtracts 8# from the two outside/shortest strings, adds 8# to the next 2, and does the center strings at reference (his string beds come out very tight). I've used all three and noticed the differences between them enough to ask them about technique. And of course you have stuff like the JET method and others such as one local fellow who has his own "5 Star" technique (not sure what that means). Is there any one "best" approach for achieving a well playing, uniform string bed? Is there any research to back this stuff up? Or is this more art than science as far as the stringing community is concerned? Why so much variation? As a stringing customer I'm curious since these technique variations clearly influence how a string bed plays enough that I've started to spec precisely how I want a frame strung (bumping up tension on the outer strings but nothing as high as 8#).