Category Archives: News!

String Savers

String savers are on my mind today for several reasons so I thought I would post something about them that may be of interest.  Let’s see!

String Savers are tiny little pieces of material that are “grooved” to cradle the string and provide a tiny barrier between rubbing strings, therefore creating a longer, happier life!

String Savers are normally used when stringing your tennis racquet with natural gut string to help the $75.00 job last longer.

But what else do string savers do?

Well, in the case we see here it increases the swing weight from 332 to 341! So 286 of these tiny things have an impact on swing weight! 

Probably the typical reaction would be an increase in string bed stiffness but that is not the case, plus the string bed stiffness is ever-changing anyway.

SBS…what is it and why should we care?

We have made several posts regarding SBS, which is “String Bed Stiffness” and this is another one!

If you read this post we really need your comment(s), really!

String bed stiffness is the “feeling” when the ball hits the string on a tennis racquet.  Due to the various string materials there will be “soft” and “hard” feelings.  But wait, there’s more!

The string bed is made up of several strings, some longer called the Main string (M)and some shorter called the Cross string(X).  Using “reference” tension each of the sets of string will be pulled at the same machine setting!  It the machine is set at 50 pounds the tension head will stop pulling when it feels 50 pounds of resistance, regardless of what he tension inside the racquet head may be.

SBS is the most effective data for comparing tennis racquet stringing!

Let’s say you come into the world headquarters and we ask you what SBS you would like to have?  Would you know?  Probably not and not many would!  We have grown up using the term “reference tension”, not SBS.

Reference tension is “number” you would ask your racquet technician to set the stringing machine tension system on.  That number will probably be between 30 and 60 pounds (≈13 to 26 Kilo).

So, depending on many other variables, such as string material, string pattern, stringing machine, stringer technique, etc., you can end up with may different versions of the same “reference tension”.

A better way, and one we have been using for over thirty (30) years, is SBS but not everyone has bought into the concept, even though a qualified racquet technician will have a way to measure SBS!  Maybe because it is too much trouble to figure out what your desired SBS from machine X would be from machine A!  It is not!

There have been several really good SBS data collection devices but they have been difficult to use, and pricy!  Not to mention gigantic!

A call to action!
So here is where you come in,

Would you purchase a SBS data collection device?

How much would you pay for such a device?

Would you prefer a mechanical device or an electronic device?

The device must be portable, that is easily carried in a racquet bag or backpack

    Yes or It doesn’t matter

It must be easy to use.

If you use an SBS device would you use a racquet technician that did not know what SBS is or how to measure it?

Thank you for adding your comments to this discussion!  It is important stuff!

 

Tecnifibre TF40 305/16M

Tecnifibre has introduced the new TF40 series in a very much appreciated 16 x 19 string pattern!  The 18 x 20 pattern is a good one but we think it may intimidate some potential buyers.

This initial review is for the 305 series, with 305 being the gram weight of the unstrung racquet, in case you didn’t know!

As with all the Tecnifibre racquets we have been in contact with this new one looks to be very well done with some subtle details that are interesting.

One is the textured decal on the “Tecnifibre” side of the shaft.  It is obvious to the touch and we think it adds to the overall aesthetic of the racquet.  Another one is the slightly asymmetrical terminus of the shaft at the grip top. It is barely noticeable but I like it!

One of the additions to the series is the “Foam Inside” component.  Some players really like the “feel” of foam-filled racquets and this one is filled to the brim!  Since it is filled with foam Tecnifibre does not see the need for a “trap door” on the butt cap, so if any work needs to be done back there the butt cap needs to come off.  I don’t think there will be much needed so the solid butt cap eliminates the potential for “buzzing” which has plagued some racquet models.

The TF40 305 is a thin beam, 22mm all the way from the grip top to the very tip of the racquet. with a box shaft and an elliptical head cross-section.

Tecnifibre TF40 305 16×19

Tecnifibre makes some of the very best multi-filament strings using PU as a binder and performance component and the string packages all say “PU Inside” so I guess that is where “Foam Inside” comes from!

Foam Inside

Tecnifibre TF40 305

 

 

 

 

 

ManufacturerTecnifibre
Racquet ModelTecnifibre TF40 305/16M
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55.0
ASPS, FlexFour65.0
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour54.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness378.2 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams328
Weight, Ounces11.57
Balance, mm330
Balance, Inch12.99
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.59
Head Length12.82
Head Area, cm2622.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.5
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.630
Main String Grid7.125
Cross String Grid9.75
Density (% of head filled with string).669
Average Cross String Space.496
Average Main String Space.429
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.837
Polar Moment334
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2320
Swing Weight, Ounces11.29
Swing Weight Calculated357.2
Power, RDC48
Control, RDC53
Manueverability, RDC73
Power, Calculated 1997.1
Head Points4.09
Head Weight, %48.1%
Center of Percussion20.6
Dwell Time, ms8.58
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.6
K, Lb/In195.76
Recoil Weight146.89
Twist Weight228.20
End Weight 128.8
Tip Weight 199.2
9 O'Clock99.1
3 O'Clock99.2
Butt Cap128.9

Head Lynx Touch! Two for One?

Several weeks ago we received the first sets of Head Lynx Touch 17 gauge strings.  Yesterday we received the Lynx Touch 16 gauge version and want to share the differences…numerically!

Quickly, this string is composed of two (2) separate but “combined” filaments.  So, is this a monofilament or a multifilament?  The numbers indicate it reacts like a monofilament as we have become familiar with it.

Head Lynx Touch

Visually the string components are obvious.

The inner filament is black and the outer covering is translucent.

 

Let’s start with the 17 gauge version:

  Lynx Touch 17

The area under the heavy red lines is the “stress/strain” curve and we see that this string takes 23.5mm to reach the 50-pound mark.  This is just a number unless it is compared to other strings so it is neither good nor bad, right now!

You can see that the string will hold up to 149.8 pounds before it breaks.  This is tensile strength and may be important when considering the amount of “notching” that can occur.  The “knot” strength of this version is 132.4 pounds.

Now let’s look at the 16 gauge version:

Lynx Touch 16

The difference is subtle.  The 16 gauge version is a little stiffer (expected) and a little stronger in tension  (also expected).  The “knot” strength of this version is 133.6 pounds.

What is interesting is the “grouping” of the stress/strain cycles on both strings.  They indicate a good elasticity.  The closer to the “zero” point on unloading the better!

In our opinion, both versions of the string would be considered “stiff” and suitable for the player looking for a stiff but stable string as our creep test confirmed.

If you currently use stiff strings and would like better consistency this would definitely be a candidate ./

We Believe!

In addition to our commitment to full custom racquets, we also believe in racquets that have been pushed aside by newer models just because it is the thing to do each year!

Of course, there can be material and design changes to racquets that make them desirable and that is always a good thing but maybe not every year!  Our experience has been that a typical consumer will use a racquet for about three (3) years.  But we also know that there are those players that want the very latest of everything!

This post is to let you know that there is life before the latest racquets!

We know the Head Speed Graphene Touch is an extraordinary tennis racquet!  The shared hole string pattern was around for a short time but it is a good pattern…so we have some of those!

The Head Prestige Tour Graphene 360+ is another incredible tennis racquet that should not be overlooked even though the Auxetic Prestige series is here.  The Prestige Tour features a 99 square inch head size with an 18×19 string pattern.  This is a real “players” racquet, to use the common descriptive, although anyone can play with this racquet.  We have these!

The Yonex V-Core without the VDM is another example of a good racquet being replaced before its time, and the same goes for the V-Core Pro 97 and 100!  Some players prefer the feedback of the non-VDM racquets.  We have those.

The previous version of the Wilson Ultra 100 is preferred by some due to the grip pallet configuration and construction.

So what is the point, here?

Very simply it is to let everyone know that there is life after new models by opting for an older model, and, letting those that prefer previous models know that some are available.  These racquets will not be “dumped”, they are too good for that!

Of course, there are not many of the “special” racquets so use the “Easy Order” tab to let us know you are thinking about one or more!