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Toad
registered registered 18 ratings Residence: USA male  
male team player upper league
hard strokes with heavy spin, allround game
Current racquet Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
I am a USTA rated 4.5 player. I play around 15-20 hours a week about half of which is doubles with USTA 3.5-5.0 players, a quarter of which is singles with USTA 4.0-5.0 players, and a quarter spent working on a ball machine/serves.

During the winter I play about 75% of the time on indoor carpet and the rest of the time on indoor hard court surfaces. During the summer I play about 80% on outdoor hard court and the rest on outdoor har-tru surfaces.
Test Pipeline
Toad will be testing the following strings next:
StringPriority
Polyfibre Viper 1.2090
Gamma Ruff 1670
Luxilon M2 Pro 16L60
Wilson Hollow Core 1630
Alpha Quick Response 15L10

Show ratings:

Date 2010-10-22
String WeissCANNON Turbotwist 1.18
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
53/53 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (10 hrs.)
General: I tested two sets of this string. Both times it was strung at 53/53 one piece ATW. It strung up like a typical poly: little stretch and fairly stiff but it had a bit less coil memory than a typical poly. The twisted nature of the string didn't make it any more difficult to string up. Dunlop Grand Prix tennis balls were used throughout the playtest. The first set tested broke at a grommet on a mishit at 7.5 hours. The second set broke at 10 hours in the stringbed.

Playing Conditions (for second set of string): Indoor carpet, 70°F (6 hours); Outdoor hardcourt, sunny and 80-85°F (4 hours)

Tension Stability: A drop in tension was noticed at around 2 hours and a slight loss of control due to continued tension drop was noticed around 5 hours.

String Movement: Very low string movement.

Time to Break: 10 hours (3 hours moderate groundstrokes, 2 hours hard doubles, 5 hours hard singles)

Groundstrokes: No adjustments needed to be made to my strokes with this string. Typical topspin groundstrokes had a moderate net clearance. Slices stayed low over the net.

Volleys: Volleys were good with this string. They could be placed well and sufficient power could be generated to put the ball away.

Serves: Serves were average with this string. Placement and pace were comparable to other polys.

Setup recommended for: People looking for a stiffer string that has above average controllable power.

Other Notes: Although this string is being marketed as a spin string, I felt the spin generation capabilities were pretty average. I was able to generate adequate spin, but it was by no means excessive. String this at your typical poly tension.
Satisfied? not sure
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
 
Similar string(s): n/a
StringAdjectives stiff
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-06-10
String Ashaway Synthetic Gut 16
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
55/55 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (4.5 hrs.)
Tension Stability: A fairly significant drop in tension was noticed at about 2 hours. A minor loss in control occurred.

String Movement: No string movement initially. Strings began moving at around 2 hours a moderate amount.

Time to Break (hrs.): 4.5 (1.5 hrs moderate doubles, 1.0 hr hard singles, 1.5 hr hard groundstrokes, 0.5 hr serves)

Groundstrokes: No adjustments needed to be made to my strokes with this string. Typical topspin groundstrokes had a moderate net clearance. Slices also had a moderate net clearance.

Volleys: Volleys were pretty average with this string. They could be put away and placed relatively easily.

Serves: Serves were average with this string.

Setup Recommended for: Anyone that doesn't have a preference of the string you use. This string is pretty average all around, so is a good place to start. I would recommend Gosen OG-Sheep Micro over this, but there is certainly nothing wrong with this string... it is about as average as they come. This string moves less than Gosen OG-Sheep Micro, so if that is a major concern for the customer, that would be the only time I would choose this string over Gosen.
Satisfied? not sure
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
Compared to Gosen OG-Sheep Micro 16.
Similar string(s): n/a
StringAdjectives
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-06-10
String Head Rip Control 16
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
55/55 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (14 hrs.)
Tension Stability: A small drop in tension was noticed around 8.5 hours. A minor loss in control occurred.

String Movement: No string movement initially. Low string movement after 8.5 hours.

Time to Break (hrs.): 14 (1.5 hrs light groundstrokes, 1.0 hr light singles, 3.5 hrs moderate groundstrokes, 6 hrs moderate doubles, 2 hrs hard singles)

Groundstrokes: No adjustments needed to be made to my strokes with this string. Typical topspin groundstrokes had a high net clearance. Slices stayed low over the net.

Volleys: Volleys were average with this string. It was difficult to put them away, but they could be placed well.

Serves: Serves were below average with this string. Placement was a little more difficult than with my normal setup, and pace was lacking.

Setup Recommended for: Anyone that likes the feel of synthetic guts but breaks them too often. This string from a feel and playability standpoint is basically a very durable synthetic gut. It doesn't really excel anywhere, but it also doesn't have any major downfalls except a lack of power. Most people breaking synthetic guts frequently will be able to overcome this though.

Other Notes: This string seemed to stiffen up a bit when it was nearing the end of its life (10 hour mark or so) so I would advise against using it if you have arm problems. It is also the only multi I have played with that didn't really fray much. I felt this string held tension very well overall. I would recommend stringing this at your typical poly tension.
Satisfied? satisfied
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
 
Similar string(s): n/a
StringAdjectives
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-05-10
String SuperString Nikita Red Star 1.25
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
53/53 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (1 hrs.) n.a.
Playing Conditions: Day 1: Indoor carpet - 68°F, mixed balls used.

Stringing: Strung 1-piece ATW. String had very high coil memory and strung up like any typical poly (i.e. little stretch and pretty stiff).

Tension Stability: Since the string only lasted 1 hour, this couldn't be accurately determined.

Durability: Day 1: 1 hour - 0.5 hr light groundstrokes and volleys, 0.5 hr hard groundstrokes. The string broke at the grommet on a clean hit. The grommet was inspected after the string broke and does not have sharp edges and is not cracked. I noticed when I cut the strings out to restring that the string was splitting in a few places. This leads me to believe the set I received was defective resulting in the early break.

Groundstrokes: No adjustments needed to be made to my strokes with this string. Typical topspin groundstrokes had a moderate net clearance. Slices were easy to keep low over the net. These strings produced a lot of spin on groundstrokes.

Volleys & Serves: String didn't last long enough for a proper evaluation of these.

Setup recommended for: Anyone who has a solid game and can deal with a stiff poly. I would need to try this string a couple more times to make sure the extremely early breakage I got is an exception more than the norm.

Other Notes: For the short time I played with it, this string was very solid. I will get another set of this in the future to test out one more time and (hopefully) get a better idea of how it holds up over time and is on volleys and serves. From the initial hit with it though, this seems to be the string I have been looking for minus the horrible durability.
Satisfied? satisfied
Compared to:
Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 16L
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a.
I actually prefer this string to Luxilon Alu Power since it plays very similar but has a bit more spin, is softer, and is lower powered.
Similar string(s): Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power
StringAdjectives precise
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-05-05
String Alpha Hardcourt SG 17
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
55/55 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (4.5 hrs.)
Tension Stability: The strings lost a lot of tension after about 2 hours. The control wasn't affected much by this, but the strings became a bit more powerful and comfortable.

String Movement: Low string movement initially. Moderate string movement after 2 hours.

Time to Break: 4.5 hours (0.5 hr light groundstrokes, 2 hr moderate groundstrokes, 0.5 hr hard groundstrokes, 1.5 hr moderate singles)

Groundstrokes: It was very difficult to gauge depth with these strings. I was often either overhitting or dropping the ball way short or in the net. Interestingly enough, slices were very good with this string. They stayed very low over the net.

Volleys: Volleys were ok with these strings. Directional and depth control weren't as big of an issue at the net although power was still lacking for put aways.

Serves: Serves were a bit below average with this string. My serve seemed a bit less consistent and I couldn't hit my flat serve in with these strings.

Setup Recommended for: No one. These strings felt stiffer and lower powered than Kevlar to me without the benefit of superb control and durability that Kevlar gives you. Pretty much any string is better than this one.

Other Notes: This is seriously the worst string I have ever used. I had no idea a synthetic gut could be this bad.
Satisfied? not satisfied
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
 
Similar string(s): n/a
StringAdjectives stiff, wire-like
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-05-01
String Babolat RPM Blast 1.30
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
53/53 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
Tension Stability: A major drop in tension was noticed at about 5 hours. The strings became somewhat difficult to control after that point.
String Movement: No string movement initially. Strings began moving at around 6 hours a small amount.
Time to Break (hrs.): String was cut out at 6.5 hours (2 hr light groundstrokes, 2 hr hard groundstrokes, 0.5 hr light singles, 1 hr moderate doubles, 1 hr hard doubles).
Groundstrokes: I had to back off on my groundstrokes to control the depth of my shots with these strings. Control was very good when I did this. Typical groundstrokes had a moderate net clearance and were deep in the court. Slices stayed fairly low.
Volleys: Volleys were excellent with these strings. Placement was excellent, and adequate power could be generated to put the ball away.
Serves: Serves were excellent with this string. I was able to place my serve really well and they had a tremendous amount of power compared to my normal setup (Ashaway Kevlar 18 @ 52 lbs./Gosen OG-Sheep Micro 17 @ 55 lbs.) and a comparable amount of spin. I had much better control on my flat serve with this string.
Setup Recommended for: People that are looking for a poly that excels in all categories and have the money to spend on it. People with a slow swingspeed looking for a poly that generates good spin. I would probably just go to any Luxilon string over this one though... the only real advantage this string has over Luxilon is that it is softer.
Other Notes: When this string dropped tension, it became very stiff and started bothering my elbow (and I use Kevlar with no issues...), so it is essential to cut this out when it goes dead.
Satisfied? not sure
Compared to:
Tecnifibre Black Code 1.24
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a.
Although I felt RPM Blast was marginally better overall, it dropped tension so fast that I would choose Black Code over it. The main thing I like better about RPM Blast than Black Code is RPM Blast doesn't feel muted like Black Code does.
Similar string(s): Tecnifibre Black Code
StringAdjectives precise
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-05-01
String Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 16L
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
53/53 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
Tension Stability: A minor drop in tension was noticed around 2 hours, and a major drop was noticed around 8 hours. The strings lost some control after 2 hours, and became moderately difficult to control around 8 hours.
String Movement: No string movement.
Time to Break (hrs.): String was cut out at 10.5 hours, but had about 7 hours left (1 hr light groundstrokes, 1 hr moderate groundstrokes, 4.25 hr hard groundstrokes, 0.5 hr hard serves and returns, 1 hr moderate singles, 1.75 hr hard singles, 1 hr moderate doubles).
Groundstrokes: No adjustments needed to be made to my groundstrokes. Typical topspin rally shots had a moderate net clearance. Slices were easy to keep low over the net and could be placed where I wanted them.
Volleys: Volleys were above average with this string. Adequate pace could be put on them and they were easy to place.
Serves: Serves were average with this string.
Setup Recommended for: Anyone who has a solid game, the money to restring every time they play, and can deal with a stiff poly.
Other Notes: This is the first string I can say I like better than my normal setup (for the first outing with it). After the initial tension drop, these strings become just your average poly.
Satisfied? not sure
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
 
Similar string(s): n/a
StringAdjectives stiff
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-03-11
String Tecnifibre Black Code 16
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
53/55 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (26 hrs.)
Test setup was: Technifibre Black Code 16 @ 53 lbs. / Gosen OG-Sheep Micro 17 @ 55 lbs.

Tension Stability: The strings went dead at about 7 hours. There was a minimal decrease in control after that.
String Movement: Low string movement initially. Moderate string movement around 13 hours.
Groundstrokes: Only minor adjustments needed for my groundstrokes. Typical topspin rally shots were low over the net and it was easy to keep slices low.
Volleys: Volleys were excellent with these strings. It was easy to place it where I wanted, and I could put the desired power on them.
Serves: Serves were very good. My slice and kick serves had as much movement as my normal setup (Ashaway Kevlar 18 @ 52 lbs. / Gosen OG-Sheep Micro @ 55 lbs.), and my flat serves were easy to keep in.

Setup Recommended for: People looking for a softer control string with plenty of power. Anyone looking for a very good all around poly. This is an excellent string... it feels similar to Luxilon Adrenaline, but is better in my opinion. This string is very good for doubles or singles play.

Other Notes: After about 5 hours the string loses a bit of bite... probably from the ridges wearing down, but it is still a great string after that. This setup is incredibly durable. After it died, I slowed my swing down a bit and was able to let my racket and the strings do all of the work... my groundstrokes were just as fast, and I had nearly as much control as my normal setup. This will be my go to setup when my arm bothers me.
Satisfied? satisfied
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
 
Similar string(s): Luxilon Adrenaline
StringAdjectives comfortable, lively
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-02-20
String Wilson Hollow Core Pro 17
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
55/55 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (9 hrs.)
String Movement: Moderate string movement.
Groundstrokes: Had to slow swing down to keep balls in. When I took fast swings I didn't get much feedback from the strings which probably affected my control some.
Volleys: Volleys were decent with these strings. I was able to put the ball away fairly easily with these since they generated enough speed. Control was still mediocre.
Serves: I couldn't hit a flat serve in with these strings. Second serves and moderate speed spin serves were fine though.
Setup Recommended for: No one. This string has no redeeming qualities.
Other Notes: Crosses always break first with this string.
Satisfied? not satisfied
Compared to:
keine Angabe
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Compared to Wilson Hollow Core 16, this string is slightly better. It offers a tad more feel, and better durability. Both are horrible strings though.
Similar string(s): Wilson Hollow Core 16, Isospeed Energetic Plus 16
StringAdjectives dull, sluggish
Comments: No comments found.

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Date 2010-02-20
String Luxilon Adrenaline 1.25
Test Conditions Tension Racquet
53/53 lbs Babolat Pure Drive Team+ (MP, 16/19)
Absolute Rating Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
 (8 hrs.)
Tension Stability: The strings felt like they went dead after 4.5 hours. A noticeable but bearable loss in control occurred.
String Movement: No string movement until they went dead around 4.5 hours in. Low string movement after that.
Groundstrokes: Didn't have to modify swing much to keep ball in. Typical rally shots had a moderate net clearance when hit with topspin. Slices were easy to keep low over the net.
Volleys: Volleys were very excellent with this string. They had nice pace and were easy to place anywhere I wanted them.
Serves: Serves were good. Adequate pace and spin could be put on them, and placement was good.
Setup Recommended for: People who don't break strings but want to try a poly. Anyone who wants a very good string and can afford the likely frequent restringings due to tension loss.
Other Notes: This string is on my very short list of strings I might use if cost was not a factor.
Satisfied? satisfied
Compared to:
Signum Pro Poly Plasma 1.23
Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Tension Stability
I would choose Signum Pro Poly Plasma over Luxilon Adrenaline because of SPPP's better tension stability. As far as playing characteristics, Adrenaline is (very) slightly better than SPPP.
Similar string(s): Tecnifibre Black Code, Signum Pro Poly Plasma
StringAdjectives soft, comfortable, lively
Comments: No comments found.

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