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String Playtest Comparison: Kirschbaum Touch Turbo vs Luxilon ALU Power

About the play testerAbout the String

Tester: Richie Rich on the Talk Tennis message board

Playing Level: 4.5

Regular playing equipment: Tecnifibre TF 325 strung with Unique Big Hitter 17g at 58 lbs

Game Style: All court player but play mostly from the baseline. Fast swing speed with medium topspin.

Strings being tested: Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17, Luxilon ALU Power 16L

Gauge: Touch Turbo:17, ALU:16L

Racquet(s) string is in: Tecnifibre TFight 325

Tension: 58 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 grey or ice blue.

Stringing

Both sets of string were given a slight pre stretch to remove some of the coil memory. Both sets of string were strung 2 piece with crosses started from the top down. The Touch Turbo 17 had slightly more give on the pre stretch than the ALU. The Touch Turbo also stretched very slightly when being strung (a little more than I'm used to for a poly). The ALU stretched minimally. There wasn't any difficulty stringing either set and both were straightforward. The Touch Turbo was a little easier to string on the last 5 crosses at the bottom of the frame, probably because it was a little softer and less stiff than the ALU. No notching, no problems with blocked holes both very easy to string.

Power

Power advantage goes to the Touch Turbo. I noticed more power with the Touch Turbo. Most likely because it is a little softer string and a little more elastic than ALU. Still, it allowed me to swing fast and keep most of my shots deep. I would string Touch Turbo 1-2 lbs higher next time to compensate for the extra power.

Control

With the increase in power over ALU, I had a few balls land out on me with the racquet strung with Touch Turbo that went in with the ALU. Noticeable on balls hit flat up the line. With ALU they would be close to the baseline but some hit with Touch Turbo would go out by 6 inches to a foot. That being said I would just string the Touch Turbo 1-2 lbs higher next time and I feel that would compensate for the little extra springiness that it seemed to have vs. ALU. Control on both strings was very good but I would give the nod to ALU here.

Comfort

The Touch Turbo was more comfortable than the ALU string. It was a little more springy than ALU and it gave a liTouch Turbole more when hitting balls in the sweetspot. This made it more comfortable overall than the ALU. There was no wrist/elbow/shoulder pain with using either string (which wasn't the case with TiMO and some of the older first generation poly's)

Spin

Big edge to ALU in the spin department. It seemed to grab the ball more. I really noticed this on my second serves and crosscourt forehands. There was about a 1 ft difference in bounce when hitting my second serve with the ALU providing more spin as well. I was also able to have some down the line passing shots be pulled down inside the baseline with ALU while some of these shots went long with the Touch Turbo some of this might be attributable to the higher power of Touch Turbo but some was also due to the decreased spin provided by Touch Turbo as well.

Feel

Feel is pretty subjective. For poly's both strings had decent feel. They both provided muted feedback. I'd give the edge to Touch Turbo here. I was able to feel the ball a liittle better on touch angle shots and volleys and drop shots. I had a little more confidence in my ability to hit those shots with Touch Turbo than ALU.

String Movement

Never had to straighten ALU in 8 hours of playing. Once locked in they never moved. Surprisingly I had to move a few of the mains on the Touch Turbo racquet after 4 hours of hitting. It wasn't major moves like with a Syn Gut string but the mains weren't completely straight either. I have only experienced string movement with one other poly Topspin Poly Polar. No other poly (besides Touch Turbo and TPP) have moved.

Tension Maintenance

Both sets of string lost some initial tension after being strung. After 8 hours of playing on each set of string the Touch Turbo lost more tension than the ALU. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of cutting out the Touch Turbo soon as it has become quite loose and starting to feel like a trampoline at times. The tension holding of ALU was better than I remember from using this string about 1 year ago. There might be a major drop off after the 10 hour mark but for the time I used it it did a good job of holding tension. ALU wins this category hands down.

Durability

As expected durability was not an issue for the 8 hours that each set of strings was used. There was the slight notching where the strings had locked in, which is normal for these poly's, and nothing more. I felt these strings would last me a long time. The poly I have broken in 8 hours of hitting was the Topspin Poly Polar.

Weather/Temperature:

Approx 70 degrees. No weather conditions due to court being permanent indoor court.

Court Surface:

Permanent indoor hard court. Fairly smooth and quick surface.

Overall Summary:

I can see why ALU Power is such a popular string with professionals - you can really hit out and generate some really nice spin with this string. It's really one of the best poly's I have tried. If money was no object I would use this string all the time.

I was a little disappointed with the Touch Turbo's tension maintenance. It's quite comfortable for a poly but doesn't really have any unique or superior qualities that would make it stand out compared to other co-poly strings on the market.

Comfort
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 90
Luxilon ALU Power 85
Control
Luxilon ALU Power 90
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 80
Feel
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 80
Luxilon ALU Power 75
Overall Playability
Luxilon ALU Power 87
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 82
Power
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 85
Luxilon ALU Power 80
Spin
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 80
Luxilon ALU Power 95
String Movement
Luxilon ALU Power 100
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 95
Tension Maintenance
Luxilon ALU Power 85
Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 17 65

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