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String Playtest Comparison: Tecnifibre Pro Red 17 vs Topspin Cyber Flash 17

About the play testerAbout the String

Tester: DireDesire of the Talk Tennis message board

Playing Level: 4.0

Regular playing equipment: Fischer Pro #1 FT, Poly Polar 17g (although my "base" string varies), 57-59 lbs (varies)

Game Style: All courter, net rushing tendencies. Very fast swing, full western forehand, two handed backhand. Plenty of slicing off both wings.

Strings being tested: Tecnifibre Pro Red Code / Topspin Cyber Flash

Gauge: Tec PRC: 17, Top Cyber: 17

Racquet(s) string is in: Fischer Pro #1 FT

Tension: 57 lbs (both)

Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 String
Slightly livelier than the 16 gauge version, but still very much a control oriented string. Offers excellent ball bite and spin potential.
Topspin Cyber Flash String 17 (1.25)
This very playable co-polyester string offers excellent durability and good access to spin. Great for intermediate and advanced players who want a crisp control string that delivers above average comfort for a poly-based string.


Pro Red Code: 6-6.5 out of 10. This string was obviously not designed for "ultimate" power. The response was a more controlled stringbed, stiffer, more linear in response. Very predictable in play on hard and soft shots.

Cyber Flash: 8.5 out of 10. This string played powerfully, but it was very controllable. This string was much more lively right off the machine compared to the red code.


Pro Red Code: 9 out of 10. Control was very good. This string played like I expected it to; stiffer, more plastic feeling. There was less deflection I felt in the stringbed, which translated to less power, and more control. As mentioned, the response was very linear. I could nail the ball, and slice a ball short with no unexpected responses. I thought the Pro Red Code was very friendly to people that haven't played with it before. It played more like a first generation poly (Babolat Polymono comes to mind).

Cyber Flash: 7.5 out of 10. Control with the Cyber Flash was good. The response wasn't as linear as the Pro Red Code, which led to certain shots being less predictable than expected. This doesn't translate to out, just less predictable. I found that hitting the ball really hard led to one response (very controlled) while taking a little off the racquet head speed led to a different response (a little more powerful). I think with a longer adjustment period, the Cyber Flash would be a desirable string.


I have a slightly injured wrist at the moment, so I was skeptical to even do a double poly playtest, but both strings performed admirably. I had no extreme pain in my wrist.

Pro Red Code: 7 out of 10. This string is harder, and less resilient than the Cyber Flash, it also has a more raw feel. This means more vibration, but better feedback. It is a little less comfortable as a result.

Cyber Flash: 8 out of 10. This string is more soft, more dampened/muted. It has a slightly "spring-like" nature. Off-center hits were dampened slightly, so it was less impacting on the joints.


I play a full western grip, so spin comes pretty natural to me. I was pleased by both of these strings for different reasons.

Pro Red Code: 8 out of 10. Spin production was predictable and consistent with the Pro Red Code. There wasn't an extreme amount of spin, but it wasn't a spin unfriendly string, either. It had a good amount of spin potential, and it was consistent. Swinging faster gave a linear response, although there was more spin, it was proportional to my swing speed.

Cyber Flash: 9 out of 10. Spin production was much more than expected. Judging by the softness and feel of the string when stringing, I would have imagined that the power produced by this string would negate some of the spin. Instead, there was an abundance of spin potential on reserve. The faster I swung, the faster the ball would come off my strings, and also the faster the ball would spin. This is the major attribute that made the powerful nature of the string manageable, in my opinion. It was a little unpredictable at times, but it always erred to my benefit.


My game is fairly touch oriented, even though I have a full western forehand, I don't really stay back and rally all day. I have a decent net game, so touch and feel are both important characteristics to me.

Pro Red Code: 8 out of 10. The feel of the Pro Red Code is as I mentioned, very consistent and much more raw than the Cyber Flash. The string is not overly muted or dampened. I prefer this over the newer generation co-polys, which I typically find a little too muted for my tastes. The feel of the ball coming off the string bed was very "plow-through-y." The ball felt as if it lingered on the strings a little longer than usual, even though the ball had already left my stringbed. I think this was due to the less-springy nature of the string bed.

Cyber Flash: 7.5 out of 10. The Cyber Flash is muted, much like other newer generation co-polys (Unique Big Hitter, Luxilon ALU, Signum Pro Poly Plasma, etc). I noticed the powerful and resilient (springy) feel more with this than the others. It was also an especially comfortable string, on par with (if not slightly, slightly worse than) Signum Pro Poly Plasma. I would rate it very high in power and comfort. The one drawback to all this is that the response from the stringbed when striking a ball is virtually non-existent. I hit well with this string, but I can't stand the response.

String Movement

Generally, I don't find full poly jobs to move much at all. After a certain period of time, however, I find that the strings "die" or lose tension, and start to pop out of their notches a little bit.

Pro Red Code: 9 out of 10. As with all full poly jobs, the strings moved very little (if at all) at first. The Pro Red Code moved a little more after it had settled in and lost a little tension.

Cyber Flash: 9.5 out of 10. Similar to Luxilon ALU, the Cyber Flash moved very little throughout the life of the strings. I only noticed a little movement just before I cut out the strings.

Tension Maintenance

Poly strings in general are not known for their tension holding characteristics. However, recently, I have found that the newer generation co-poly strings have made great strides in this category. Compared to nylon strings, however, there is still quite a bit left to be desired. With this mentioned, I find that poly strings tend to play similarly throughout their life regardless of tension loss because of their stiff nature.

Pro Red Code: 8 out of 10. This string didn't lose as much tension as the Cyber Flash, but it receives a slightly lower rating. My reasoning is that the tension loss is much more noticeable compared to the Cyber Flash. Straight off the machine, this string plays very linear in response, low powered, but excellent control. You notice some balls start to fly at about the 10 hour mark.

Cyber Flash: 8.5 out of 10. The tension holding characteristics of this string were pretty impressive. Although the string did lose quite a bit of tension at the end of it's life, it played fairly consistently throughout.


Durability with a full poly job has never been a major concern for me. I usually cut full poly jobs out due to tension and/or playability loss. This case was no different. I played with the strings for about 18 hours, then cut them out.


I live in the Pacific NW (Currently residing in Seattle, WA). The weather here is typically wet and cold. I play both indoor and outdoor.

Court Surface:

I play only on hard courts, mostly fast ones. No clay/grass here.

Overall Summary:

The Cyber Flash will appeal to a certain audience, where the Pro Red code will appeal to another. Although overall the ratings on the Pro Red Code are slightly lower, I rated it very similarly in overall playability because it offers things that the Cyber Flash does not.

Tecnifibre Pro Red Code:

Fresh off the machine, I could tell that the designers of this string deviated a bit from the trendy new co-poly formula. It had a lot of the "old school" poly feel, similar to tried and true offerings (Babolat Ballistic, Kirschbaum Super Smash Honey, etc). The feel was stiff, perhaps slightly harsh, but much more raw, which translated to improved ball feel and response. Comfort wise, there was a little more vibration to the arm, but this string wasn't an offender to my sensitive wrist. The control stood out most of all when I played with this string. I found that the response was very predictable, which lent itself to good confidence on my part. I felt that this string would be an excellent tournament string, a neat color, with a traditional, all around consistent feel. Overall I rate the playability higher than the numbers would suggest, this is due to the synergy of all its properties.

Topspin Cyber Flash:

This string is very unique; it offers things that aren't traditionally found in poly strings. First is a relatively high power level. Although the power level is high, I would describe it more as a resilient string. Complimenting this power is an excellent amount of spin control. This keeps the ball in the court, even if it is zipping off your frame faster than ever. For a poly string, this string offers excellent comfort. It's dampened and muted feel will appeal to those who are looking for a durable string, but want to avoid damaging their arm(s). The feel of this string leaves some to be desired, in my opinion. It is dampened, and the ball response is lacking, but this is a trade off that some are willing to make for comfort. Tension maintenance was surprisingly good, and the strings barely move. Overall, I find this string to be a high quality alternative to the Luxilon line.

Topspin Cyber Flash 17 77
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 70
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 86
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 73
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 78
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 73
Overall Playability
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 79
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 78
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 85
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 66
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 85
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 75
String Movement
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 93
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 90
Tension Maintenance
Topspin Cyber Flash 17 75
Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 70

Playtest date: November, 2006.
All content copyright 2007 Tennis Warehouse.

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