Alpha Viper MXT Review

Reprinted with permission of the
United States Racquet Stringer's Association

Viper MXT is Alpha’s newest premium solid core string. It “offers exceptional resiliency while maintaining desired tension.” Manufactured in Japan, Viper MXT has a specially designed speckled coating that “provides optimum feel and durability by reducing friction between strings.”.

BENCH TESTING

The two coils tested measured 39’7”. Diameter ranged from 1.29 mm to 1.31 mm. Stringbed stiffness of 78 RDC units was recorded immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a continuous pull machine. After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 72 units, representing a 7.70% tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 80 RDC units immediately after stringing and 73 RDC units after 24 hours, representing a 8.75% tension loss.

THE TESTERS

Tested for five weeks by 27 USRSA playtesters with NTRP ratings from 4.0 to 6.0.

STRINGING

Viper MXT 16 is very easy to install. It doesn’t recoil like some strings and has minimal silicone coating, making handling and clamping easier. Even without a slick coating, cross strings weave smoothly without any burning or notching. Knots tie easily and cinch up nicely. No problems here.

PLAYTESTING

Viper MXT 16 started out playing firm and crisp but quickly settled into a comfortable and predictable string. It provided sufficient power and very good control. The non-slick surface kept string movement (and notching) to a minimum, even with spin shots, although some discoloration occurred within a few hours of play. Touch shots were about average as was tension maintenance; we recorded 18% tension loss over two weeks of regular play. There were seven reports of breakage after 4, 6, 8, 12 (twice), 15 and 17 hours of play. Fifteen respondents (58%) indicated they would carry the string in their shops. Responses on expected price ranged from (11) $2–$4.99, (13) $5–$7.99, (2) $8–$11.99.

CONCLUSION

Viper MXT 16 provides a predictable, comfortable response and adequate power, but does not perform with any discernable “wow” factor to separate it from other synthetic gut strings. A good workhorse but no stallion, it’s a solid performer for a $6.45 string.

(Reviewed August 1997)

COMMENTS

(The string most commonly
used is in parentheses)

“Nice 16 gauge string, but there’s no particular advantage compared to other strings on the market.” 4.5 baseline player with heavy spin using a Head Radical Twin Tube MS strung at 57 lbs. (Gamma Pro 17L)

“Feels stiff to the hand, but plays “spongy” with good shock absorbency. Below average control.” 4.5 all court player using a Dunlop Max Superlong +1.00 strung at 55 lbs. (Dunlop Syn Gut 17)

“A comfortable string to install and play with. I would recommend this to players who like soft string and people with arm problems.” 5.0 serve & volley player using a Prince Precision 690 strung at 53 lbs. (Dunlop MaxComfort 16)

“Nice feel and comfort. Great control and power.” 4.0 all court player using a Yonex Cyborg 2700 strung at 55 lbs. (Gosen SuperTec Gut 16)

“I found the string to be somewhat stiff during stringing, but this didn’t present a problem. I noticed a number of blotches and discolored spots, which makes me wonder about the quality.” 5.0 baseline player with moderate spin using a Prince Extender Blast MS strung at 62 lbs. (Velociti 17)

“This is a very durable string suitable for today’s oversize widebodies.” 5.0 all court player using a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 strung at 60 lbs. (Prince Syn Gut 17)

“Great string with terrific feel and playability.” 5.0 all court player using a Prince Precision Spectrum MP strung at 62 lbs. (Prince Syn Gut 17)

“Really enjoyed playing with this string. Should be a good string with durability for heavy spin players.” 4.5 touch player using a Prince Precision 730 strung at 57 lbs. (Gamma TNT 16)

“Surprising durability in a very playable synthetic string. Felt a bit stiff at first, but after a couple of hours the string softened and felt great.” 5.0 all court player using a Wilson Hammer 5.5 95 strung at 58 lbs. (Wilson Synthetic Gut Xtreme 16)

“Just an average string, nothing unique.” 5.0 all court player using a Yamaha Secret 04 strung at 58/54 lbs. (Ashaway Crossfire II)

“I would recommend this to the player that likes a lot of touch and feel.” 5.0 baseline player with heavy spin using a Prince Precision 720 strung at 58 lbs. (Prince or Wilson Syn Gut 17)

“String felt hard and stiff. I felt quite a bit of shock.” 5.5 all court player using a Wilson Pro Staff 4.2 95 strung at 60 lbs. (Prince or Wilson Syn Gut 17)

“This string felt stiff while uncoiling and stringing. Suitable for long oversize and super oversize frames. Moderate power players will enjoy this string. Outstanding tension maintenance. Even though it is a stiff string, it didn’t play harshly. I would recommend this string.” 4.0 all court player using a Weed Zone Plus strung at 65 lbs. (Gamma TNT Pro Plus 17)

“This was a pretty good string. I wouldn’t consider it a soft string, but it offered good feel. I don’t think it’s terribly powerful, but it maintains tension great and would suit widebody racquets.” 5.5 serve & volley player using a Dunlop Classic Pro strung at 57 lbs. (TOA Silencer 17 or Dunlop Syn Gut 17)

TESTER STATS

Results from 27 playtesters

EASE OF STRINGING

(Compared to string used most often)
much better
0
somewhat better 6
about the same 15
not quite as good 5
not nearly as good 0


OVERALL PLAYABILITY

(Compared to string played most often)
much better 1
somewhat better 7
about the same 5
not quite as good 11
not nearly as good 2


OVERALL DURABILITY

(Compared to strings of similar gauge)
much better 1
somewhat better 3
about the same 14
not quite as good 7
not nearly as good 1


RATING AVERAGES

Playability 3.2
Durability 3.3
Power 3.2
Control 3.3
Touch/feel 3.2
Comfort ----
Spin Potential 3.2
Holding Tension 3.4
Resistance to Movement 3.4

KEY: Respondents ranked string from a possible low of 1 to a high of 5. Median value is 3. Values represent average overall ratings.

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