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String Playtest Comparison: Kirschbaum Touch Turbo vs Luxilon ALU Power

About the play testerAbout the String

Tester: Jonolau from Talk Tennis message board

Playing Level: 4.0

Regular playing equipment: 1. Dunlop M-Fil 300, Tecnifibre Pro Redcode 17 (1.25mm) @ 60 lb

Game Style: Baseliner hitting mainly flat shots. Fast swingspeed.

Strings being tested: Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17, Luxilon ALU Power

Gauge: Kirschbaum Touch Turbo:17, Luxilon ALU Power:16L

Racquet(s) string is in: Dunlop M-Fil 300

Tension: 60 lbs

Luxilon ALU Power 16L String
One of most popular strings on the ATP Tour, it offers good power, durability and control. A recommended choice for big hitters. Now available in silver or ice blue.

Stringing

Both strings were strung on 2 separate identically-setup stock Dunlop M-Fil 300s to get a direct comparison on court. They were strung as 2 piece stringing jobs. Stringing the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo was a bit more difficult in terms of stiffness. However, more care was required with Luxilon ALU Power as it was very prone to kink. But after tensioning, the kink disappeared and there were no marks and notches where the kinks were.

Power

The Luxilon ALU Power string felt very powerful on groundstrokes. It was easy to get the ball over the net as compared to the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo. The Kirschbaum Touch Turbo felt extremely stiff even though it was strung at the same tension. I had to increase my swingspeed quite significantly and take big swipes at the ball to get it over the net with the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo.

Control

The Kirschbaum Touch Turbo had a slight edge over Luxilon ALU Power in terms of control.

Comfort

The Luxilon ALU Power definitely won hands down in this department. It reminded me very much of TecnifibreÕs Redcode, which is classified as a comfort poly.

Spin

Somehow the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo reminded me very much of Aramids, and the stiffness of the string meant that it stretched less upon impact of the ball, and was therefore able to bite better giving it an edge on spin generation. This is not to say that Luxilon ALU Power canÕt generate spin at all, it fared just as well in this department. Again, slight edge to the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo.

Feel

Having been a long term Aramid user, the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo reminded me a lot of Aramids, but definitely felt more comfortable. It has a very crisp feeling and response, but also requires a bit more effort to get any response. Whereas Luxilon ALU Power felt a bit more muted and goes about doing an excellent job without fanfare.

String Movement

No problems with the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo and the strings always stayed in place. After about an hour of hitting, there was slight string movement with the Luxilon ALU Power, but nothing dramatic compared to multis or syn guts, and also the movement was not enough to require string adjustment.

Tension Maintenance

Using a string tension tester, the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo maintained tension very well after initial stringing with only 6lbs of loss on the mains. Luxilon ALU Power, on the other hand, lost about 8lbs of tension after initial stringing. Once the Kirschbaum Touch Turbo stabilized, there was very minimal tension loss after about 10 hours of play. Luxilon ALU Power lost another 2 lbs after 10 hours.

The Kirschbaum Touch Turbo has really lived up to the claims made by Kircschbaum, and I would advise to really follow the recommendations of stringing 5-10% below target tension.

Durability

I didnÕt get much chance to play more than 10 hours with each string. But indications show that both strings are very durable as there was only slightly noticeable notching on both sets of string.

Weather/Temperature:

Tropics, permanently hot and humid atmosphere. Average temperature during day play was about 93.2F, evening games at about 87.8F.

Court Surface:

Outdoor hard court

Overall Summary

I really like the Luxilon ALU Power for the fact that it offers quite good control and access to spin, without the harshness normally associated with the early generation polys. Aesthetically, the gunmetal colour just comes across as looking very dull on any racquet. It has just the right amount of power without feeling too soft or like a loose rubber band.

However, the TT was really fun to play with when you take big swipes or cuts at the ball. The bite on the ball was really impressive compared to Luxilon ALU Power. But I feel that this is an extremely demanding string that requires a high level of consistency in swingspeed and stamina. Therefore, I feel that it is most suitable to 4.0 level players and above. Beginners-Intermediate level players should stay away to avoid frustration.

Comfort
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 85
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 65
Control
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 95
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 90
Feel
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 80
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 75
Overall Playability
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 90
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 80
Power
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 90
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 70
Spin
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 95
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 90
String Movement
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 100
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 96
Tension Maintenance
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 100
Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power 16L 80


Playtest date: December, 2006.
All content copyright 2006 Tennis Warehouse.

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