Archive for the ‘Signum Pro’ Category

Comparison String Review: Genesis Spin X and Signum Pro Tornado

November 20, 2009

As explain in an earlier post, the tennis string market has gone through some significant changes in the last few years.  It wasn’t long ago that Natural Gut reigned supreme as the top choice (if you could afford it) for players of all levels.  Virtually all pro’s on tour had variations of “Gut” in their frames to achieve great ball feel.  Today, there has been a great shift towards the newest string composition: Polyester.  Recent polyester strings offer offer supreme ball control at high swing velocities along with great durability. Looking even further, “textured” polyester strings are currently in the tennis equipment lime light as they provide all the benefits of regular polyesters with added ball bite and spin.  Two such recently released textured polyester strings that reign at the top of their class are Genesis’ Spin X and Signum Pro’s Tornado.

Let me preface my review of these strings by stating that they are two of the most advanced 3rd generation polyester strings on the market; players can’t go wrong with either string in their racquets.  That said, there are some subtle differences that can help you decide which string better suits your individual game style and needs.

Genesis Spin X:

Genesis is a relatively new string brand that hit the ground running as they initially released Spin X as their “flagship” string.  During stringing, Spin X is resistant to kinking and lacks extreme coil memory which makes for easy installation.  The construction method Spin X is a very sophisticated process that allows the already octagonally textured string to be twisted around the axis.

From a playing perspective, the string provides great access to spin with its rough and twisted surface.  I was able to achieve great ball bite for heavy topspin while maintain pinpoint control over shot location, especially at high swing speeds.  Volleys are crisp and “plow through” is still substantial, something textured strings can often lack.  Spin X is also less resistant to string notching and after an initial break-in period holds playing characteristics until it breaks.

Benefits:

  • Great blend of control / spin
  • Resistant to notching compared to other textured poly’s
  • $ – very affordable for high-end polyester

Signum Pro Blackline Tornado:

This is Signum Pro’s new flagship string that continues a tradition of great polyesters from this company.  Signum Pro’s previous strings (such as the entire Poly Plasma Line) are known to provide great tension maintenance and a consistent string bed right off of the stringing machine.  Tornado continues with these characteristics, and adds great access to spin with its textured / twisted surface and substantial power for a polyester string.

Installation is slightly more tedious than Spin X as Tornado has a rougher texture; this shows up as an added benefit on the court with extreme amounts of ball bite.  Where Spin X blends control and spin, Tornado is a mixture of power and spin – so much so that I would recommend stinging 2-3 pounds tighter to help offset the “pop” off the string bed.

On court I was able to hit very heavy topspin shots off both sides, and my slice shots stayed low and dug into the court on the other side.  My kick serve jumped up like never before, often forcing my opponents to hit returns above their shoulders.  This added spin does come with a couple downsides, in that I found it difficult to flatten out my strokes at times as the extra texture likes to really bite into the ball.  Also, Tornado played extremely well in my racquet from the start, but after some time began to notch and lose its playing characteristics.

Benefits:

  • Extreme amounts of spin from anywhere in the court
  • Great power and pop, especially for a polyester
  • Maintains Poly Plasma-like tension maintenance

All in all, both strings are great choices for those looking to break into the world of textured polyester strings.  The best way is to truly give them a try yourself and see which one better suits your game style.

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Poly or not! with all the choices how to choose?

November 17, 2009

Cyberflash!, Tornado!,  Big Ace!, Black Magic!

Signum Pro Poly Plasma 16 (1.28)

These are just a few of the many high end polyester strings players have to choose from when they decide to step their string up to the next level.

In the past few years, and the emergence of polyester strings, the choices of what to put in your racquet have moved past nylon, synthetic, or natural gut. With a majority of professional players using some combination of co-polyesters and natural or synthetic guts juniors and club players want to use the same strings as the players they look up to.

The first thing to look at is why use polyester strings? Power, durability, increased control? The second area to look at, and is a concern when testing polyester strings, is elbow and shoulder issues. Polyester strings tend to be stiffer and harsher on the elbow and shoulder. However, there are many companies that have great options for the player that wants the feel of poly without the elbow issues.    

There are three strings I want to recommend. The first is a power string, for the high performance players, the second is an all around string that is solid in both power and comfort, and the third is softer, for the players who are worried about tennis elbow and other arm issues. The three strings are, Genesis Black Magic, Signum Pro Poly Plasma, and Pro Supex Blue Gear.

Black Magic is the string I find myself giving most to high performance players, both junior and adult. Black Magic is the string that I steer players towards who are looking for that professional feel. And the string I use myself.

The positives:

  • Plays great
  • Holds tension well
  • Great power
  • Manageable cost

The negatives:

  • Starts a little stiff
  • Not as high spin potential

Black magic is a string that holds tension very well and will continue to play like the quality string it is long after other polys have been cutout and re-strung. My only caution is that I recommend hitting with it before taking it into a match, as I feel it needs a  35 minutes break in period. 

The second string is a solid all around string that has something for everyone. 

Signum Pro Poly Plasma is another of my favorites for the player that may not be ready for the full power of the top poly and wants that extra comfort.

The Positives:

  • Holds tension
  • Good power and feel
  • Easier on the arm

The Negatives:

  • Lower durability
  • Less spin potential
  • Some issues with shearing (strings breaking prematurely)

Poly Plasma is a great string for players who have never used poly before and are interested in trying out the product. It gives you good power and spin without worrying about shoulder or elbow problems.

The last string is Pro Supex Blue Gear, a hexagonal polyester string for added grip of the ball.

Blue Gear is a string that has the properties of a polyester string coupling with the softer feel of a high end multi-filament string.

The Positives:

  • Soft on the arm
  • Great spin potential
  • Plays similar to a multi-filament

The Negatives:

  • Quick tension loss
  • Lower power
  • Costs more than some similar strings

Blue Gear is the string I give people when they are very concerned with arm problems but still want that added power and durability of polyester strings. I personally don’t use it due to tension loss but for that person that needs the added comfort it is a great string.

Textured Polyester String Breakdown

October 26, 2009

In the last 10 years the game of tennis has seem some serious changes; players are hitting the ball harder, deeper and heavier (a combination of power, depth and spin) than ever before.  Players are forced to be in amazing physical shape and an emphasis on conditioning that didn’t used to be so prominent has emerged.  Some analysts attribute the raised level of play to the newest advancement in tennis string technology: polyester strings.

Polyester strings are currently the hottest thing in the tennis market.  Because these strings offer a stiffer string bed, the player has greater control of the ball coming off the strings, even at very high swing speeds.  The stiffer strings also cut into the ball better than synthetic’s offering up more ball bite, which translate into spin.  Polyester was first introduced as an alternative to kevlar for those who broke synthetic strings too quickly and wanted a durable alternative.  Although they provided a long string life, they had poor tension maintenance and were also very stiff and often harsh on the elbow/arm, making them less than ideal for the average tennis player.  Since their initial introduction, manufacturing and string technology has allowed companies to produce polyester strings that maintain the benefits of durability while lowering the stiffness level, thus making them better suited to the majority of the tennis playing community.  Strings like Pro Supex Big Ace, Signum Pro Poly Plasma, Genesis Black Magic and Topspin Cyberflash exemplify this group.  They allow the user all the benefits (control, spin, durability) without the painfully stiff feel of the original first generation polyesters.

Most recently the string market has brought us a newer version of these polyester strings.  Polyester strings already have great ball bite and spin, but manufacturing the strings with texture provides even greater access to extreme amounts of spin on the ball at any speed.  This has created a new group of strings: textured polyesters.

One method of creating a textured polyester is to manufacture the string in a way to create a hexagonal shape as the string’s cross section.  Signum Pro Poly HEXtreme is one of the premier strings in this group.  The hex-shape provides great ball bite, but compared to the other texturing methods tends to be a little bit stiffer.  Like other strings in the Signum Pro Line, Pro Poly HEXtreme provides great tension maintenance and supreme playability right off the stringing machine.

When Pro Supex came onto the market a few years ago, their textured polyester offering created a ton of buzz in the tennis string market.  Pro Supex’s Blue Gear has a gear-shaped cross section as the name implies.  This gear shape gives the user even greater access to spin than previous hex-shaped polyesters, even in thicker diameters.  This string is also less susceptible  to notching with its unique design.  The only drawback I have encountered is that after some time the gear shape on the string can wear down with play, but this is only in extreme cases.

Genesis' Spin-X

Genesis' Spin-X

The final and most recent method of manufacturing spin-producing textured polyesters involves coaxially twisting the string about itself creating a “twisted” cross section.  Both Genesis’ Spin-X and Signum Pro’s Blackline Tornado are great examples of this new method of manufacturing.  These two offerings provide the best ball bite and spin access of the bunch with little feeling in the arm.  They provide the ultimate blend of control, spin and durability.

All of these strings can benefit most tennis players, whether through a full string bed or a hybrid setup with a softer synthetic gut or multifiliment in the crosses.  I recommend checking them out if you haven’t yet; they could easily help raise your game to the next level!

Signum Pro Tornado & Signum Pro Hyperion Now In Stock!

August 12, 2009

Signum Pro’s latest string offerings, Tornado and Hyperion are now available in both sets and reels. The Tennis Depot is the first retailer in the U.S to have both the Signum Pro Tornado and Hyperion available in both 40’ sets and 660’ reels.

Tornado is a heptagonal-shaped co-polyester string offering a high level of dynamic power while offering exceptional access to spin. This string is axially twisted and greatly increases the spin potential when compared to traditional round strings. Signum Pro Tornado also offers excellent playability and comfort for a co-polyester string. This next generation string offers a new optimized molecular structure which in result makes the Tornado hold tension remarkably well.

Hyperion offers a new optimized molecular structure offering outstanding power along with an incredible level of playability and comfort. Signum Pro Hyperion also holds tension remarkably well, offering a very high level of control and is among the most durable poly-based strings we have playtested to date. The unique diamond-black color looks great on nearly every racquet. Hyperion is part of the new Blackline series from Signum Pro destined to deliver high dynamic power co-poly strings with exceptional tension maintenance.

Free shipping on reels! Order a reel by Friday August 14th and receive 100 bonus gold points!

For more information or to order, please visit: http://www.thetennisdepot.com/tennis-strings/signum-pro.html