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03-01-2010, 08:33 AM #1
Thick strings and high tension stringing
I have recently been experimenting with using thick strings of 0.7mm diameters namely the BG65, BG65 Power and BG65 Titanium. I mostly have them strung at tensions of 26lbs to 27lbs with ECP and at least 15% pre-stretch. Here are some personal observations that I would like to share with especially those who also prefer the thicker strings to the thinner ones:
1 (a). Thick strings generally tend to stretch more than the thinner strings after being strung (that everyone already knows), but the extent of tension drop that they actually go through is about 1lb of drop almost immediately after stringing and letting the racquet stand. This usually occurs with stringing without pre-stretch (more interesting fact to come later). The tension will eventually drop about 1lb to 2lbs more after some period of play sometimes as soon as after warm up.
1 (b). With pre-stretch however, the tension drop occurs much later and for my case of 15%, the tension will drop by 1lb only after approximately 3 weeks of serious play with the racquet. After that the tension seems to stay solid, which is now the case with some of my racquets that have 2 to 3 months old strings.
2. The tension that the thick string is strung at also affects the amount of immediate tension drop. In this case, the higher the tension strung the less the amount of tension will drop immediately and also the longer the time it will take to eventually drop more.
3. From my humble personal experience, the thicker string offers much more power (or kinetic energy transfer) at higher tensions when compared to a thinner string strung to a slightly lower tension (to obtain the same feel as the thicker string at higher tension). This is more likely due to the fact that the thicker string has a bigger mass that can allow more energy generated from the arms to be transferred straight into the shuttle on impact. The repulsion of the thinner string which some may prefer for "more interesting looking" shots is still way more pronounced than the thicker string although.
So to summarise, here comes the interesting fact. For those professional players who use thick strings at tensions of around 30lbs (ala Lin Dan, Candra Wijaya, Xia Xuanze, previously Fu Haifeng, etc), their actual playing tension after these observations of mine has come into effect is actually about 1lb lower than billed or requested. In my spare time I did some comparisons of my racquets' resonance pitch to the listed players' from tournament videos and found out that their 30lbs BG65 (or similar string) racquets sound approximately IMHO the same as a racquet strung at 29lbs with adequate pre-stretch. This may not sound important but the significant thing is that if you have been using 30lbs plus tension and feel that your racquet may not withstand repeated stringing much longer, it is actually safer to string at 1 to 2lbs lower but with pre-stretch to get the same feel that you have always been used to. The only difference is that the string may feel "dead" for sometime as the tension now is constant while previously the tension will actually drop when you start using the racquet thus making you feel different. Personally I think this is a better choice than to have my racquet strung at a higher tension since the eventual feel is still the same IMHO.
I have done these experiments and found these observations in my spare time and thus may not be exactly correct, so if there are errors please for those who have much more experience do correct me. I hope you enjoy and learn a little from my observations. Happy playing with thick strings
03-01-2010, 09:03 AM #2
great summary and great detailed report! thanks for the effort.
as a stringer and player, I'd like to know which tension you were using in this report, when I put a 10% over for the cross. for example, if I string the racket at 26x28.3 lbs, which value do you use for reporting?
could this affect your final observation?
03-01-2010, 09:18 AM #3
The 26/27lbs tension that I tested were mostly done at either 27lbs uniform tension or 25/26lbs mains with 27lbs cross tensioning, depending on what my stringer actually gave me, although I asked for uniform tension. To some extent I believe he did a few of my racquets as requested and the others from his own experience in the 10% more for cross tensioning since he told me he is more comfortable with the latter. I would like to point out that I now prefer to do uniform tension (meaning same tension for mains and cross) as IMHO this actually slows down the tension drop further.
As we would have been told, the idea of adding 10% more on the cross is to ensure the frame does not distort, but with a properly set up machine and supports, uniform tensioning is no problem at all.
03-01-2010, 09:32 AM #4
thanks for clarification. Looks like I might have brain washed by YY, and spent too much time in the "string" forum about this "+2 lb for cross".
03-01-2010, 11:59 AM #5
1. i'm amazed your ability to do resonance pitch analysis and comparison between your racket and how the pros's sound like from video, especially at 29 lb vs 30 lb
2. pro's rackets nowaday likely are strung by electronic machines, they have pre-stretch feature built in. Even regular stringers these own a electronic stringing machine.
03-01-2010, 03:52 PM #6
relative pitch, since I used to play and study guitar and am also trained to play the Pipa. The highest frequency that I can still hear is about 17 to 18kHZ
The pre-stretch is a built-in feature, but the important thing is that if the stringer does use it or not (that one little button). I remembered that a lot of professional stringers stated that they prefer to not use it as it saves a little more time when you're assigned to stringing 200 plus racquets at high tension in a day.
03-04-2010, 08:27 PM #7
amazing frequency sensitivity! relative pitch is a tough cookie to learn for me!
03-05-2010, 05:24 AM #8
Does anybody know the maximum tension of strings BG-65? The Bonny catalogue lists for some strings the maximum tension. What are the safe numbers to go over the limit?
What about 0.72mm at high tensions, I guess the final thickness could be more like 0.68.
03-26-2010, 08:02 PM #9
03-26-2010, 08:35 PM #10
I have been using BG65 at 30lbs ECP with 10% as a test for adding more information to this thread and also having some fun playing with high tensions again.
What I found is that even at 10% prestretch, BG65 loses tension very quickly. The first week I got the racquet, the resonance frequency sounded (as a reference) Lin Dan's BG65 strung racquet at the Olympic Games 2008. This is also at the same pitch as a BG66 Maxima strung at 26lbs with the same method and by the same stringer. After a week and only a few warm up strokes, the pitch dropped and sounded more loose and the same as Lin Dan's BG65 Power strung racquet at All England 2009. At this point, as I depressed the string bed to check for the tension, it felt (as I initially suspected) at most 29lbs
This 29lbs tension then lasted me for two weeks of constant play until last week as I rechecked the racquet for the pitch again, it has yet again dropped to a pitch of about 28/28.5lbs. The bad thing I felt personally at this point is that the original crisp feeling I got when I had it strung to 29/30lbs is now gone and I am tempted to restring it back to that tension, which obviously costs money and time as the string is still pretty new with no visible signs of fraying or damage
So in conclusion [for now], I hope that I have helped those of you who are interested in having your racquet strung with a thick string and at high tensions by giving you information on how to tackle possible tension drop problems. I would recommend you to string to 1lb lower than your intended tension, but with at least 15% or maybe even 20% prestretch, if you want that feel to last and be consistent for a long time.
I hope someone who has moved on from using high tensions with thick string (for example from 30+lbs BG65) to using a thinner string at around 2lbs less tension (then to BG66 Maxima at 28+lbs) than usual give me some advice on the relative feel and if the switch is indeed possible.
03-26-2010, 09:41 PM #11
The lowest tension Lin dan put for BG 65 is 30 max is 32, under sources from YOnex.
03-27-2010, 12:43 AM #12
03-27-2010, 02:51 AM #13
HHAHAHAHHAHAHAH this clown cracks me up. OH **** my tension has dropped .25pounds, from what I can tell by listening to its pitch with my highly trained ears. Now my shots will be 0.829172cm shorter oh noes <
You can tell the tension from listening to the sound off a TV rofl, you my friend, should be in the Guinness World Records. I have just the right occupation for you! You should be a piano tuner!! You would be able to tune the piano to perfection with just your ears
03-27-2010, 03:01 AM #14
03-28-2010, 12:29 PM #15
Ffs, what about sound distortion? We are talking here about low quality television sound, reripped and encoded to lossy format. And acoustics are dependable on rooms, position of microphone, racket, stringing method (1 piece vs 2 piece) etc.
I wouldn't loose sleep over some guy's opinion, what he heard. The most famous "hearing" case would be that of the Maiden of Orleans.
03-28-2010, 05:17 PM #16
Acoustics will vary the quality of the sound, but the pitch and resonance frequency will remain the same no matter how you record it. This is similar to having two pianists or guitarists playing the same song note for note using different instrument setups; they will each definitely sound different in tone and feel but will the audio transform into two different songs altogether?
03-29-2010, 02:25 AM #17
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