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String Playtest Comparison: Tecnifibre X-One Biphase vs Bab Xcel Premium

About the play testerAbout the String

Tester: Kreative of the Talk Tennis message board

Playing Level: 4.0

Regular playing equipment: Babolat Pure Drive Standard, Luxilon ALU Power Rough 16L, 56 lbs.

Game Style: An aggressive counter-puncher developing a more all-court game. Moderate to fast swing speeds, short backswing. Full western forehand grip, 2-handed backhand, 1-handed backhand slice, serves and volleys range between continental and eastern backhand. Playing 20% singles, 80% doubles.

Strings being tested: Tecnifibre X-One Biphase vs. Babolat Xcel Premium

Gauge: Tecnifibre X-One Biphase: 16, Babolat Xcel Premium: 16

Racquet(s) string is in: Babolat Pure Drive Standard

Tension: 58 lbs

Stringing I strung both strings one-piece without pre-stretch. Both strings are really soft, so there was some stretching during tensioning. I had no problems stringing up the Biphase, but the Xcel felt a little more slick, making it harder to weave the crosses. I was also more careful while stringing to prevent shearing or kinking since both strings are so soft and elastic.

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 16 String
With its gut like feel, this high-end multifilament offers exceptional power, comfort and ball pocketing.

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Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 16 String Red
With its gut like feel, this high-end multifilament offers exceptional power, comfort and ball pocketing. Now available in red.

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Power

The Tecnifibre X-One Biphase had a good amount of pop, but was not overly springy. Groundstrokes landed deep in the court without having to over swing. I was surprised at not having to adjust my stroke at all. Only on serve did I feel like I wasn't getting as much pop as I normally do. It could have been due the to spin I was putting on the serve.

The Babolat Xcel Premium took me some time to adjust to the power of this string. Very springy! I started out by hitting everything about 2 feet long. I had to consciously apply more topspin to keep the ball in the court. With the pop and spin, I was able to hit some heavy balls. I also enjoyed the power I was getting on serve with the Xcel. I feel like I've gotten an extra 5 mph or so.

Control

I liked the control I got with the Tecnifibre X-One Biphase. The string had a good blend of power and control for me. I felt confident hitting deep into the corners as well as short angles.

I found control with the Babolat Xcel Premium a bit difficult in the beginning because of the springiness of the stringbed. After adjusting my stroke for more spin, control improved. I still didn't feel as confident on volleys, but groundstrokes and serves were solid.

Comfort

Both strings are definitely much more comfortable and plush feeling than my normal ALU setup.

The Tecnifibre X-One Biphase was a very comfortable string, with the sweetspot between being too mushy, and overly crisp.

The Babolat Xcel Premium was extremely soft feeling and probably the most comfortable string I've played with besides natural gut

Spin

Spin with the Tecnifibre X-One Biphase was good. I didn't notice much of a difference with topspin from my normal setup, but slices stayed low, adjusting depth and angle with ease. Most noticeable difference in spin is on serve. My kick serves were jumping higher than normal and slice serves skidded nicely. I felt confident to hit aggressive serves because the spin would just bring it down into the box nicely.

Spin with the Babolat Xcel Premium was also good, though slices tended to float a bit. Most noticeable was spin on groundstrokes, where the topspin I was generating would cause the ball to jump high and out after the bounce. Slice and kick serves also spun well.

Feel

The Tecnifibre X-One Biphase had a nice feel for good touch all around the court. Felt soft, but crisper than the Xcel.

Babolat Xcel Premium had a very soft feel, which along with the springiness took some getting used to. Loved the feeling of the ball sinking into the string bed.

String Movement

For the Tecnifibre X-One Biphase, the center mains seemed to not move, and I'd only have to do some adjustment of the outside mains about every game or so.

As for the Babolat Xcel Premium, even with the notching, I found myself having to straighten out the strings every couple of points.

Tension Maintenance

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase: Seems to hold tension well after 3 weeks.

Babolat Xcel Premium: After the first time out, there seemed to be a slight tension drop, where it then settled in nicely.

Durability

TheTecnifibre X-One Biphase rates average on durability. Though I see some notching in the strings, it has not broken after +/- 15 hours of play. The strings are about 50% worn. I would estimate getting another 5-6 hours out of them.

TheBabolat Xcel Premium rates low for me on durability. After 2 hours of play, I could already see some notching in the strings. The strings snapped after approximately 10 hours of play.

Weather/Temperature: The weather had been pretty cold. With cold weather, it's been said that the strings become stiffer and ball becomes harder. Regardless, I still felt that both strings were soft and comfortable to play with.

Court Surface: Played fulltime on hard courts, mostly at a public park I frequent. Surface is average speed, partially rough, with some courts having cracks.

Overall Summary

This playtest came at the perfect time because I'm currently looking for a comfortable multifilament string to switch to. I had stayed away from them for a while because I break strings often and liked the durability/playability of polyesters, especially Luxilon ALU. I like the feel of the softer stringbed, and I'm not playing as much these days, so I think a multi would be fitting. Both strings played well, and I think if I made the switch now, it would be to the Tecnifibre X-One Biphase. It's soft, comfortable, but not overly mushy and springy. It also offers good tension maintenance, and decent durability. I may try the Babolat Xcel Premium again, but I would raise the tension up a bit, maybe to 60 lbs. Another concern for me is that it didn't last too long.

Comfort
Babolat Xcel Premium 90
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 80
Control
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 80
Babolat Xcel Premium 75
Feel
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 85
Babolat Xcel Premium 80
Overall Playability
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 85
Babolat Xcel Premium 80
Power
Babolat Xcel Premium 85
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 80
Spin
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 85
Babolat Xcel Premium 80
String Movement
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 65
Babolat Xcel Premium 60
Tension Maintenance
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 85
Babolat Xcel Premium 80


Playtest date: April, 2007.
All content copyright 2007 Tennis Warehouse.

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