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Playtest: Victory Acelon Seven 16L

By Greg Raven

Victory tells us that Acelon Seven is its premier product for top-level players. Made from premium copolyester, it features a sharp seven-sided construction to help players convert power into maximum topspin with control. According to Victory, a European manufacturing partner with decades of experience in advanced industrial polyester monofilaments produces its copolyester strings.

Victory recommends Acelon Seven for advanced players who generate their own power, and are able to handle a stiffer string. Victory says Acelon Seven is also good in hybrids, either with softer polys, or with nylon strings.

Acelon Seven is available in 17 (1.24 mm), 16L (1.27 mm) and 16 (1.31 mm) in Dark Blue only. It is priced at $16.99 for sets of 40 feet, $110.00 for 200-meter reels, and $379.99 for its exclusive 600-meter “mega spools.”

For more information or to order, contact Victory at 800-824-9473, or visit victoryracquetsports.com.

In the Lab

We tested the 16L-gauge Acelon Seven. The coil measured 44 feet. The diameter measured 1.25-1.27 mm prior to stringing, and 1.23-1.25 mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 71 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine.

After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 67 RDC units, representing a 6 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units immediately after stringing and 71 RDC units after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent tension loss. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut Original has a stiffness of 217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while Victory Acelon Seven 16L has a stiffness of 166 and a tension loss of 12.37 pounds. Acelon Seven 16L added 15 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 31 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 5.0. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 27.

Victory recommends reducing the reference tension by 10 percent compared to a nylon string, and we passed this advice along to the members of our playtest team.

Acelon Seven is a bit unruly as you take it out of the package, and its prominent edges let you know right away that you are dealing with a geometric string. Pulling the crosses creates edged warfare against the mains, so if you are in a hurry the string can look a bit beat up when you are done. Burning can also be a factor.

Two playtesters broke the sample during stringing, eight reported problems with coil memory, three reported problems tying knots, three reported friction burn, and seven reported other problems.

On the Court

None of the stringing issues seems to make the slightest difference once you get on court.

Our playtest team rated Victory Acelon Seven 16L third best for Spin Potential of the 176 strings we’ve playtested to date for publication. They also rated it 15th best overall in Resistance to Movement, and excellent in the Power category. Acelon Seven 16L also garnered high marks for Durability, Control, Playability, and Tension Retention. All together, these scores place Victory Acelon Seven 16L in a tie for 7th place for the best string we’ve playtested.

One playtester reported premature fraying or peeling, two reported buzzing, and seven reported notching. Two players broke the string during the playtest period, one each at 7.5 and 9 hours.

Conclusion

It’s unusual to have a string receive good scores in both Spin Potential and Power, but Victory Acelon Seven 16L nailed both categories. It’s also unusual to have so many playtesters comment on how comfortable — even soft, and arm-friendly — Acelon Seven seemed to them, considering that Victory is positioning it as their stiffest string.

Not everything about Acelon Seven is anomalous, though: One completely explicable result is the number of comments on the spin you can generate with it.

Playtester Comments

(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)

“Just slight notching. This string has a lot going on for it. It is easy to work with, great snap back response and super feel for the ball ‑ with an added bonus of being arm-friendly. From the minute I put this string in my frame it was like a thoroughbred; smooth with a quick response and an easy ride. This string separates itself from the pack not only with its performance characteristics but the fact that it would be a game enhancer for just about all levels. A top candidate for a blended combo.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick GT strung at 50 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite 18)

“The best poly I have playtested in awhile. Fantastic spin with no string movement. I had more aces in the one match I played than in the last two months! This ‘blue ice’ with its hexagonal cross-section is a winner. String meter results — Reference tension: 50 pounds. Before playing: 47.9 pounds. After 10 hours: 46 pounds. Less than four percent drop according to the Stringmeter. Only eight percent below reference tension. Let me know the name of this string!” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Kobra strung at 50 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Red Code 1.20 / Gamma Syn Gut 16 18/16)

“Awesome string if you are looking for some extra bite and spin. Great control string that still offers some nice pop when needed. Hopefully it will be a nice price point. I would love to get some.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Babolat Storm Tour strung at 56 pounds CP (Luxilon 4G 1.25)

“Unbelievable spin potential. The ability to roll the ball off the court and hit drop shots that stop was amazing. Average power but the spin benefits out weigh the loss of power. Great string that played better as I used it.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson BLX Pro Open strung at 58 pounds CP (Luxilon Savage Lime 17)

“The string hit very well. Great bite on the ball to generate big spin. This shaped poly felt a little softer than other polys due to the thinner gauge. Highly recommended.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 60 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite 16L)

“While stringing it, I thought it would be just another polyester. However, this is one of the better polys I have used. Very good durability and spin potential. It held tension well. The biggest thing for me is that it was more comfortable than most polys I have used. Would sell this and use it myself. High marks on this string!” 4.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Graphene Speed S strung at 46 pounds LO (Gosen nylon 16)

“Great string with high durability. Usually my strings are frayed and ready to break at 6 hours. The test string plays very well. I would like this string to be my choice.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Aero Pro + strung at 56 pounds CP (Gamma Zo Power / Babolat Xcel RG/FO 56/60)

“After a short break-in period, the strings became very playable. There was power on demand, uncharacteristic of textured polys. The ease of spin generation was amazing which made serve placement a breeze.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Dunlop Aerogel 4D strung at 40 pounds LO (Luxilon XP 1.25)

“This is good string with so many good qualities that I would gladly sell it to customers and use it myself. Good feel and very good spin.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince OZone Tour strung at 55 pounds CP (Tourna Big Hitter Black 17)

“Compared to other thick-gauge rough strings I have used, this test string, despite the low durability, performed well. Good comfort, above average spin, and good power. Control on groundstrokes was very good, and I felt I could swing out on my shots. Recommend this string for big swinging top spinners.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Storm GT Tour + strung at 54 pounds CP (Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.30 16)

“The string played wonderfully! Great spin and durability. It would probably play better for me at a lower tension.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Graphene Speed Rev strung at 63 pounds LO (Luxilon Ace 1.12)

“I was very surprised how comfortable the strings were. The ‘shaped’ string did not help me generate more spin than what I am used to but they were extremely comfortable and soft. I really like the additional power. My opponent said the balls were coming in faster with more weight behind it. They are a good string for intermediate players looking for some power and comfort.” 4.0 male all court player using Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro 7g strung at 59 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)

“I loved this string. It was very easy on the arm. This spin potential was awesome, generated excessive spin with ease. The power for this co-poly was exceptional. Loved the extra power it gave me on my serve. Although the tension decreased after about 10 to 12 hours of play, it still had good control. I would recommend this string to any customer looking to get tons of spin and power to go with it.” 4.0 male all court player using Dunlop M 2.0 strung at 46.7 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 17)

“Again we find another poly that is player friendly. As long as you reduce tension accordingly for a poly-type string, you can get good performance from this string. After a couple hours of break-in time the string shows good response off the baseline and sure and accurate feel with the volleys with little vibration with off center hits. There is adequate power with the serve but a little disappointed with spin potential. Overall, I would recommend this string for players looking for all-around play.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Radical strung at 53 pounds CP (Wilson Hollow Core (M) / Genesis Black Magic (C) 17/17)

“The string is lacking in feel, but makes up for it with spin production. The more head speed you generate, the better it performs. I am not confident placing flat or touch shots with this string but if I cross my fingers and go for a big heavy topspin ground stroke, it tends to be a pretty good ball.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson K Six.One strung at 48 pounds CP (Pacific Prime Gut (M) / Genesis Black Magic (C) 16/16)

“Good pop and control and spin for the first five hours. After that it got dull as most polys do. I’d offer this up to a player who is into hybrids. This string would make a very nice compliment to a synthetic or natural gut cross.” 4.0 female all court player using Babolat Pro Drive strung at 62 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch 16)

“A great string for heavy spin baseline playing styles. I enjoyed it for spin production, passing shots, and creating angles. My doubles play and net play suffered due to feeling disconnected from the ball on touch shots. I had no issues with comfort even though this string felt more stiff than my go-to string.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Extreme Pro 2.0 strung at 43 pounds CP (Head Sonic Pro 17)

“For a monofilament string this string felt really soft during the stringing process. It was very easy to work with for a monofilament. I expected a rather soft playability and I got exactly that. What I didn’t expect was the power being so low. I had a difficult time really getting power behind the ball, even with a full, flat stroke. I did like the shaped surface of the string and it enhanced the spin generating capability of this string greatly.” 4.0 male all court player using Yonex E Zone xi strung at 52 pounds CP (Head RIP Control 17)

“String diameter measured 1.24-1.27 mm prior to stringing and 1.21-1.24 mm after stringing. Stringing was a bit tedious due to sharp edges and slight notching could occur if not careful. The first two hours of play the string was a bit stiff and had to be worked over to get depth and feel. In the next few hours the string began to settle in and feel better, still stiff, but good power, control, and spin. This string is a real spin demon. Spin was so easy to develop. In the last four hours of play the string began to feel brittle and transfer more shock, but spin was still easy.” 4.5 male all court player using Yonex V Core 98D strung at 44/40 pounds CP (Tecnifibre X-One BiPhase 17g)

“After a few weeks the string lost some tension and control. The spin potential is high regardless of the tension. It would be interesting to use this in a hybrid. The initial detangle took much more time than normal, especially the crosses.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince O3 Speedport Black strung at 52/50 pounds CP (Signum Pro Poly Plasma 1.23)

“After two hours I started to notice some ‘click.’ Interesting string. It seemed very soft in construction, but also one of the least durable. Significant spin potential with its rough edges, but started notching quickly.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Youtek Prestige MP strung at 58 pounds (Gamma TNT / Zo Tour 17)

“This string has a little coil memory and some fraying. The notching was normal. This string bit the ball very well, and lasted pretty long. But I didn’t really like the comfort. Heavy spin players may like it. Touch/feel players should try another string.” 5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 43 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power 16)

“Difficult to pull the cross strings through the string bed due to string design. I found this string difficult to string, especially the cross strings. The string does have some abilities to ‘bite’ the ball due to its unique string design. I see this string better suited towards an aggressive ‘spin’ doctor who rallies from the baseline.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Yonex V Core Xi 100 strung at 65 pounds CP (Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25)

“The string felt okay in the beginning but then began to feel stiff as time went along. It was a bit stiff when stringing, too, although not as bad as other strings. The strings feel low powered however the control feels decent. After 20 hours of playing time, it felt really stiff and somewhat painful to my arm. Overall I would give the strings a moderate rating.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince EXO3 Tour strung at 45 pounds CP (Gamma Synthetic Gut 16/17)

“Ball pocketing is very good. Feel is also decent. I prefer my regular poly.” 3.5 male all court player using Head Radical MicroGel strung at 42 pounds CP (Kirschbaum Spikey Shark 17)

“As a polyester, knot tying isn’t great. Coil memory is predictably high. It is tough on the fingers. This string has average playability. The tension maintenance is not quite as good as what I get from my typical poly. Spin is on par with Babolat RPM Blast. Comfort is decent. This string isn’t too hard on the arm. Durability is good. Control is average. Power is on the high end. Spin is pretty good. Overall playability is nothing special.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Aero Storm GT strung at 53 pounds LO (Gamma Zo Verve 17)

“Initially I found the string to be somewhat lacking in power. After an hour on the practice courts either the string or I adjusted to regain ‘pop.’ I taught more with the string than played. It is tough on the arm when feeding ball for hours at a time. I might consider using the string if I could create a hybrid using gut as a cross string.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Aero Pro GT strung at 53 pounds LO (Tourna Quasi Gut 16)

“Wouldn’t want to string this all day because of the edges. It seemed to lack both power and control. Wouldn’t recommend this string as there are many other good polys.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Flex Point Radical MP strung at 50 pounds CP (poly 16)

“During stringing, the sample wanted to twist as it was threaded through from grommet to grommet. I allowed it to do so since straightening was not part of the instructions. After playing, I felt that I should have tried to limit the twisting action.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Youtek Speed Power strung at 57 pounds CP (Gamma Zo Verve 17)

“A little tougher to do last few crosses. Nice color.” 3.5 male all court player using Wilson Blade 98 strung at 52 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite / Gamma TNT 2 16/17)

“String broke on the 3rd main pull.” 4.0 male all court player using Volkl Classic strung at 58 pounds CP (Wilson Hyperlast Spin 16)

Playtester Ratings

EASE OF STRINGING (compared to other strings)
much easier 0
somewhat easier 4
about as easy 9
not quite as easy 15
not nearly as easy 3
OVERALL PLAYABILITY (compared to the string played most often)
much better 0
somewhat better 9
about as playable 9
not quite as playable 11
not nearly as playable 1
OVERALL DURABILITY (compared to other strings of similar gauge)
much better 6
somewhat better 8
about as durable 14
not quite as durable 0
not nearly as durable 2
RATING AVERAGES
Playability 3.6
Durability 4.1
Power 3.5
Control 3.7
Comfort 3.2
Touch/Feel 3.1
Spin Potential (3rd overall) 4.3
Holding Tension 3.6
Resistance to Movement (15th overall) 4.1

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About the Author

Greg Raven  is an associate editor for RSI magazine and technical writer. He is certified as a Master Racquet Technician by the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association. He can be reached via e-mail at greg@usrsa.com, or through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He plays tennis five days a week, and is turning into an avid cyclist.

 

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