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String Playtest Comparison: Polyfibre TCS 16L vs Polyfibre Cobra 17

About the play testerAbout the String

Tester: Shojun25 of the Talk Tennis message board

Playing Level: 3.5

Regular playing equipment: Prince O3 Tour MP; Signum Pro Poly Plasma 17g mains @ 55 lbs and Prince Lightning XX 16g crosses @ 60 lbs

Game Style: Aggressive baseliner; medium to high swing speed; can usually hit fast flat shots and moderate pace topspin shots; uses a semi western forehand grip with a two handed backhand

Strings being tested: Polyfibre TCS vs. Polyfibre Cobra

Gauge: Polyfibre TCS 16L/Polyfibre Cobra 17

Racquet(s) string is in: Head Liquidmetal Genesis OS for both strings

Tension: 55 Lbs

Stringing

Polyfibre TCS: I actually enjoyed stringing with this string. It was smooth, but it wasn't slippery. Also, this co-poly is really soft and bendy. It lost a lot of tension during stringing like the Cobra. Weaving couldn't have gone smoother (no pun intended). When I was pulling the string, it just slided through the grommets without causing friction.

Polyfibre Cobra: Guessing that this string is a co-poly like the TCS, this string is one of the softest co-polys that I strung. Also, I could tell that this string was going to be softer than other polys because it wasn't as stiff as other common co-polys. The texture of the string felt like bristles; I could tell that this string would have a lot of spin. When I was tensioning it, the Cobra lost a gradual amount of tension. I had a hard time pulling the string while weaving; the bristles kept catching the mains which was rather frustrating. Overall, Polyfibre Cobra is a unique co-poly to string.

Polyfibre Black Venom 16L/1.25 String
Offering tremendous resilience and feel, Black Venom provides excellent playability and ball pocketing.
Polyfibre TCS 16L/1.25 String
A soft co-poly string. Offers exceptional access to spin, excellent control and a very soft and forgiving response compared to competing co-polys.
Polyfibre Cobra 17/1.20 String
A soft polyester string with a textured surface for excellent spin. Pre-stretched for optimum tension maintenance.

Power

Polyfibre TCS: At first, this string was above-average like the Cobra. After a couple of hours or so, most of my shots became more powerful and deeper. I did not feel comfortable using a full swing with these strings because most of my shots are either too close to the baseline or out. However, after some getting use to this string, I was able to control the ball better with the power it created. During the last week of testing, it amazed me how much power it generated. I was not able to control any of my shots, but I was able to gamble on winners. Overall, this string is very powerful after some getting use to.

Polyfibre Cobra: This string is above-average in power. The string felt springy when hitting flat shots. However, this string did not really impress me with anything special in this category. It gradually increased in power, however, not so much as TCS. At the last week of testing, Cobra allowed me to get better, deeper shots than usual, and I was not worried about my shots going out. I would suggest letting this string settle in at first to obtain its full potential.

Control I was able to hit deep angled shots with both strings, however, Polyfibre TCS amazed me greater than Polyfibre Cobra.

Polyfibre TCS: Polyfibre Cobra: I would say that this is an average control string for a co-poly. I was able to control most of my shots along with heavy spin. At first, this string was an exeptional control string. I found that I needed the string's spin to control the ball. I could feel the pocketing of the ball with this string especially during long swings. At net, I was able to direct my volleys anywhere on the court. I felt very comfortable at net with this string. After a couple of hours, no noticeable changes occurred in this factor. During the last day of testing, however, I felt that this string lost some of its control and gained a bit of power. I still felt comfortable with the string, but this might affect other people's playstyle.

Comfort Both strings actually offered a more comfortable feel than I would've expected. My arms were not sore after hitting with both strings.

Polyfibre TCS I thought that this string was different in this category. This string kept its muted feeling throughout the testing. I did not hear that occasional "pop" on the ball, but the strings were comfortable. I felt little vibration from off-centered hits. TCS was peculiar throughout the whole testing, but there was a natural feel that allowed me to obtain a better response from the string.

Polyfibre Cobra: This string was a little stiffer than the TCS. Nothing really stood out except that the string allowed forgiving off-centered shots like the TCS. After a long rally, however, my wrist started to become numb which might be because of the strings. Overall, Polyfibre Cobra is a normal co-poly string in this category.

Spin

Polyfibre TCS: This string is a good spin friendly string, but not as great as the Cobra. Spin production felt natural. Because of the power this string created, most of my topspin groundstrokes kicked up while creating a fast-paced ball. This combination suprised me and it consistantly worked. It felt lively while hitting shots with spin.

Polyfibre Cobra: My first impression of this string was "spin friendly" because of the bristles I felt while I was stringing. This string offered exeptional spin during the play test. I was amazed at how much topspin I could generate with this string because most of my hits with topspin were around the service line. My shots became deeper and deeper after some getting use to, which became a major advantage with my game. I loved hitting topspin-lobs with this string; most of them caught my opponent off-guard. The only bad thing with the lobs were that most bounced over the fence. This string is very similar to polyester strings in this account, but it is softer and more crisp.

Feel

Polyfibre TCS: - This string has a soft, springy feel. I was able to feel the ball leave the strings comfortably everytime I hit the sweet spot. The ball felt lively when I hit volleys at the net. I can feel where the ball is going everytime which suprised me with the amount of power in this string.

Polyfibre Cobra: This string had a crisp feeling to begin with. I liked this feel and it was consistent. Also, off-center hits suprised me. The racquet did not wobble as much as I thought it would have. I felt comfortable with most of my hits with this string.

String Movement Both co-polys handled this factor with ease and both settled in with no time. However, the Cobra was better than the TCS with this factor.

Polyfibre TCS: TCS kept shifting itself every now and then. The string did not make big gaps between strings, but it did keep moving. I thought that this string could improve in this factor a bit more.

Polyfibre Cobra: This string settled in after the first 3-4 hours. I thought that it was going to move a lot because of the gradual tension loss, but after it was settled in, It only moved every once in a while.

Tension Maintenance

Polyfibre TCS: This string did not amaze me with its tension maintenance. It kept becoming more and more powerful evertime I hit with it. I would not recommend this string if you depend on strings heavily in this factor.

Polyfibre Cobra: This string was average in this factor. It lost tension gradually throughout the whole testing. The string kept its crisp feel throughout the testing.

DurabilityThroughout the play test, both strings did not break. While I was stringing both strings, the TCS was softer than the cobra, which might affect its durability. Furthermore, I noticed deeper notches on the TCS than the cobra. I believe these strings could've lasted for a couple more weeks. I think that they are less durable than other co-polys, but their playability would've compensated for the durability

Weather/Temperature: I live in southern California where the weather is usually sunny with some clouds and a bit windy. It is around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit when I play during the day.

Court Surface: Hard courts

Overall Summary:

Polyfibre TCS: Overall, this string is one of those strings that will suit most players. Just let this string settle and you are good to go. It has that precise feel that will allow you to perform at your best. This is one of those strings that has great playability for its price.

Polyfibre cobra: You will get used to this string after an hour or so of playing time. This is one of those above-average strings that will consistently respond to your shots. Spin meisters and picky people about string movement will love this string.

Power
Polyfibre TCS 85
Polyfibre cobra 80
Control
Polyfibre cobra 85
Polyfibre TCS 80
Comfort
Polyfibre TCS 85
Polyfibre cobra 75
Spin
Polyfibre cobra 95
Polyfibre TCS 90
Feel
Polyfibre TCS 90
Polyfibre cobra 85
String Movement
Polyfibre cobra 90
Polyfibre TCS 70
Tension Maintenance
Polyfibre cobra 75
Polyfibre TCS 65
Overall Playability
Polyfibre TCS 85
Polyfibre cobra 80


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

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