String Playtest: MSV Go Max 1.25
By Greg Raven
MSV Go Max is a monofilament co-polyester engineered and manufactured in Germany by Mauve Sports in one of the world’s most modern production facilities, using high-quality ingredients with newly developed additives. This pedigree gives MSV Go Max a high elasticity index relative to competitors.
MSV tells us that Go Max is targeted at tennis players with moderate to fast swings who seek a performance string with exceptional feel and a good balance between power and control.
Go Max is available in 1.20 mm (17 gauge) and 1.25 mm (16L) in black. Dealer pricing is $6.44 for 40-foot sets, and $44.50 for 656-foot reels, with quantity price breaks. For more information or to order, contact MSV at 843-816-1440, or visit rmsboulder.com.
In the Lab
We tested the Go Max 1.25 string. The coil measured 40 feet, 3 inches. The diameter measured 1.21 mm prior to stringing, and 1.20 mm after stringing. We recorded a string-bed stiffness of 73 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), string-bed stiffness measured 66 RDC units, representing a 10 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 MSV Go Max 1.25 has a stiffness of 182 and a tension loss of 18.81 pounds. Go Max 1.25 added 14.8 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.
The string was tested for five weeks by 59 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.0. These were blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. The average number of hours playtested was 26.
MSV Go Max was a typical poly to install, so we experienced no issues during stringing. MSV does recommend a maximum reference tension of 53 pounds, which we recommended to our playtesters.
No playtester broke a sample during stringing. Seven reported problems with coil memory, two reported problems tying knots, one reported friction burn and two reported other problems.
On the Court
Our playtesters were most impressed by MSV Go Max’s Durability, Resistance to Movement, Control and Spin Potential, rating it well above average in each of those categories.
No playtester reported premature fraying or peeling. Three reported buzzing and eight reported notching. Six playtesters broke the sample during the playtest period — one at five hours, two at nine hours, and one each at 17, 67 and 78 hours.
MSV Go Max has a lot to recommend about it, especially at its price point. When installed at a low tension as advised by the manufacturer, it offers power and comfort, which might be just the ticket for players who are better off with a multifilament but want more durability and prefer not having to straighten their strings all the time.
“It was a very responsive string right out of the box. Provided good feel and power without any break-in period and it held its tension and playability through the test. I would recommend this string to anyone. I don’t think it needed the additional stringing guidance, the simple 5-10% less tension would suffice for experienced stringers. As stated, I would recommend this string for any level of play, it’s not as rigid as some polys and it does not lose tension like others.” 4.0 male all court player using Prince Red LS 105 strung at 55 pounds LO (Gamma TNT2 17)
“This string was enjoyable to play with. It had a nice combination of the three essentials needed in every string: Comfort, control, and power — with a strong leaning toward control. It maintained tension well and resisted movement. Good string for everyone.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Prince Tour 100T ESP strung at 48/52 pounds LO (Prince Tour XP 17)
“Overall, very impressed with this string. Great spin, and the durability was surprisingly good! The playability was very good as was the feel. I was pleasantly surprised with the overall performance of this string. It felt like it would be stiff during installation, but played ‘softer.’ Would use this string for sure!” 6.0 male using Wilson Juice 100S strung at 55 pounds CP (Luxilon 4G 17)
“Good string for people who want spin and control.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Aero strung at 50 pounds CP (Babolat Origin 17)
“Liked the string. Seemed to keep its tension and playability. I enjoyed the amount of spin I could get on my serve and volleys. Provided plenty of spin and control on groundstrokes and approach shots. Did not feel it lost its liveliness during the hours of use. Would use in a hybrid situation as well as on its own. No arm issues. Enjoyed hitting this string.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince Tour 100 ESP strung at 48 pounds CP (Prince Tour XC 16)
“I like this string. It has a little bit of texture to it that my normal string doesn’t. That was a big plus. Would like to see another color than black.” 4.5 male all court player using Prince Warrior 100L strung at 52 pounds LO (Prince Warrior Poly )
“Overall a great string that proved to be near the top for all qualities evaluated except it seemed to have less power than my normal strings. Stringing was easier compared to strings of similar construction. The strings felt and played great from the initial hit — there was no time period in which I had to become accustomed to a new string. Although stiff, they did not play like a ‘stiff’ string — feel, touch, and comfort were each excellent. The best qualities of the string overall were its durability, resistance to movement, and ability to hold tension. Highly recommended!” 4.5 male all court player using Prince O3 Red strung at 53 pounds LO (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase/Tecnifibre NRG2 18/18)
“Liked the ease of stringing for the kind of string. It held tension well. Would use it when it hits the market” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson Burn 100S strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson Revolve 17)
“Great string for a player who hits big flat shots from the baseline. This string did lack access to spin and had more power than my usual string. Some of this lack of control could be due to the lower tension at which I strung this racquet, at the request of the string manufacturer. Would be interested to try this string at my usual 58 pounds. Overall a great string that has huge power and great feel on touch shots.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson BLX Pro Open strung at 53/53 pounds LO (Luxilon ALU Power 16L)
“Another nice string to choose from on the market. Found it to be powerful, responsive, and to have an unexpected higher level of touch. Would recommend.” 4.0 female all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 52/52 pounds CP (Babolat Origin 17)
“This is a string I will definitely try again, and it has a strong potential of replacing my current standard. My opponents and I both noticed that I generated better topspin, while also increasing my power. This created shots falling deeper into the court and kicking high up on my opponents. This forced them to play further back allowing me to be more offensive.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive Tour + strung at 51/51 pounds CP (Yonex Poly Tour Pro 16)
“This string maintains its playability remarkably well. I enjoyed playing with it well past the point where I usually cut out a poly and restring.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson Six.One strung at 48/48 pounds CP (Luxilon ALU Power 16L)
“I absolutely loved this string. This string has a gummy-like coating that provided excellent touch and feel. Very playable string with great control. Thank you so much. Please let me know what this string is so I can order it for the store.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Control strung at 53/53 pounds LO (Babolat RPM Blast 15L)
“As with many polyester and/or co-polyester strings — with a few exceptions — stringing is a challenge since this type string is not as flexible as many strings. The stiffness of such strings, extreme coil retention, difficult knot tying, string shapes, and sharp pointed ends add time and discomfort to polyester/co-polyster string jobs. This sample wasn’t as bad as many are, but it fits in a category that adds ten minutes to your final product. And another property detriment, I believe, is the black color, which adds a little needed extra concentration to the string job (black strings, black grommets, black frame interior). I hope that I’m not too negative on polys, but they are difficult to string. Overall this string was a good addition to the polyester/co-polyester lineup.” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson Scream strung at 53/53 pounds LO (Gamma Live Wire 16)
“I was amazed how well the strings played at the recommended 53 pounds. I was anticipating it to be like a trampoline. Overall it had good feel and power at the recommended tension. I really like the ball pocketing but not losing control of the shot. I did not notice any difference in spin. Overall this string was impressive with quantities of strings on the market. I would restring my racquet with it again.” 4.0 male all court player using Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro 7G strung at 58/58 pounds CP (Luxilon ALU Power 16)
“This was a very comfortable poly string. It strung about as easy as previous polyester strings I had used. Since I have been playing with a textured string, I really noticed the reduction in spin potential with this string being non-textured. It was comfortable and it also had good vibration absorption properties. This was a good comfortable poly that I would recommend to my customers depending on its price point.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Pro Staff 97 S strung at 48/44 pounds CP (Solinco Hyper G/Babolat N.vy 16L/17)
“This is one of my favorite full poly tests to date, as the tension worked perfectly for the string/racquet combination. The string performed very well with both fast and slow swings, which can be rare with poly. Tension maintenance was slightly better than average, making it to about eight hours of play before starting to drop. I’d love to know the make of this string so that I can try it again in the future.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince Textreme Tour 95 strung at 48/48 pounds CP (Prince Tour XC/Prince Premier Control 16L/16)
“I liked the response. It had a pretty solid bite on the ball. For heavy string breakers who like a polyester, it should work well.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive + strung at 42/42 pounds LO (Luxilon ALU Power 16)
“Initially, a strange sound came from hits, but after an hour or two, the strings settled and the noise dissipated. It had much better feel after a slight drop in tension. Good control and power, especially on the overheads and serves.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Aero strung at 52/52 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic Gut 16)
“I had no problems whatsoever stringing. As a matter of fact I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the string went into the frame. Initially the string was great. Power and spin were both excellent. No arm fatigue or problems. The first ten hours of playing and feeding were great. Then about half way into a set of singles the tension dropped noticeably, with control being a real problem. I continued to teach with the string at this point. I’ve used the string for 17 hours total at this point. Up to the point of the tension loss I really liked the string.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT strung at 52/52 pounds LO (Tourna Quasi-Gut 16)
“Good-looking, black string. Easy and fun to play with, but underpowered for the type of frame I used that particular week. I would like to try it in a Pure Drive or Pure Aero.” 4.5 male touch player using Angell TC 95 Custom strung at 55/52 pounds CP (Babolat VS/Babolat RPM Blast 17/18)
“This string has good feel and durability. Most shots feel comfortable, and serves and overheads sure do feel solid. This string seems durable, and feels great on touch shots like drop shots and drop volleys. All around a good string.” 4.0 male all court player using Prince TT Viper strung at 54 pounds LO (Gamma Ruff 16)
“Good overall string. Not enough power for my game though.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson BLX Blade 98 strung at 55 pounds LO (Gamma Professional 17)
“The string played surprisingly well for what we thought was an all polyester string.” 3.5 male all court player using Wilson 2.0 Hyper Hammer strung at 50/45 pounds CP (Gamma Poly Extra/Gosen OG Sheep 18/17)
“Does what a poly does with added spin and durability. Comfort and touch run second to spin and durability.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson Pro Staff RF strung at 48 pounds LO (Gamma Live Wire Pro 17)
“Two things that stood out with this string are: 1) It held tension better than any string I’ve tested in recent memory, and 2) It had remarkable control given the ‘low’ stringing tension used. I expected to have a string face that resembled more of a trampoline feel and not the smooth controlled feel and moderate power I actually experienced while hitting. Overall, I liked this string although I would like better spin production.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Volkl Organix 8 Super G 300g strung at 50 pounds LO (Luxilon Savage/Solinco Tour Bite 16/17)
“The first couple of minutes hitting, the string felt stiff, especially on off center hits. But as I continued to play, I got used to that feeling. Because of the lack of texture on the string, ‘feel’ shots lost some control, but I was able to swing away from the baseline. Volleys got a good ‘pop’ from the string. The string felt softer than other monofilament strings that I have play tested.” 4.0 male all court player using Volkl Organix 4 Super G strung at 53 pounds CP (Volkl V-Twist 17)
“Felt good for a poly. Seemed to bite quite well with good serve performance.” 5.0 all court player using Prince Warrior strung at 55 pounds CP (Prince Premier Power 17)
“Overall, the string played well and felt good when hitting; nice touch at the net. Lost its feel the more I played with it though.” 4.0 male all court player using Babolat Aero Strike strung at 53/53 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17)
“I enjoyed playing with this string and even played some tournament matches with it. I felt it was only slightly less playable than my normal string.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Graphene XT Speed Pro strung at 45/45 pounds CP (Gamma Poly Z 17)
“A solid polyester. It felt pretty good at the start and held tension. It seemed a bit more comfortable than many polyester strings I have used. However, it did break much sooner than most poly strings I have played with.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head Speed MPA strung at 43/43 pounds CP (Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 16)
“String felt very stiff. Great for serves and ground strokes. Average power, but really hits spin well.” 4.5 male all court player using Prince Premier strung at 50/50 pounds CP (Gamma Ocho XP 16)
“I loved this string right away, but even by the third time out, the tension was significantly less.” 5.0 male all court player using Yonex Ezone Ai strung at 52/52 pounds CP (Head Hawk Touch 19)
“I think these strings would have even been better if they were strung at my normal 60 pounds tension. The bounce off the strings made me feel like I was directing the ball instead hitting through the ball. Overall I feel if the string were a little tighter it would be fantastic. Overall I would say these are better than most strings I have tested.” 5.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 53/53 pounds CP (Babolat VS 16)
“If you are a player needing a little more punch then this is the string for you. It also produces good spin which can be noticed when going for that topspin lob or that spin or kick serve. This string is easy on your arm but I would recommend stringing your racquet a couple of pounds higher than the recommend tension to give you more control off the base line.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head Radical MP strung at 53/53 pounds LO (Tourna Big Red 17)
“This string had a nice response and snap-back feel with a fair amount of comfort. It would make a great cross string for a hybrid. With so many of the poly strings out there catering to a higher level of player this string has a good potential to appeal to the average player. Not a fan of a full bed of black string as it is harder to see the stringing pattern and requires the stringer to pay extra attention to avoid a misweave.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Graphene Instinct MP strung at 48/48 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite 17)
“I was surprised at how well this string played at the lower tension (50 pounds). I normally string my poly tight at 60 pounds but liked how the lower tension felt on this string!” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 50/50 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite 16L)
“The string exhibited very little coil memory out of the package, and stringing was pretty easy for a poly. This is a very solid feeling poly, with no outstanding weaknesses. I would certainly use this string again depending on the cost.” 4.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Prestige Graphene XT strung at 50/50 pounds CP (Head Sonic Pro 17)
“Interesting string given the ‘max’ recommended tension. Due to such a low tension, it has extra dwell time, but still maintains control. Off the ground it is great, while net can be challenging, as I would want a crisper feel. Overall, good string for baseliners.” 6.0 male all court player using Wilson Blade strung at 50/50 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 16)
“While I enjoyed the string, there wasn’t any ‘ah ha’ moment or anything that stuck out to me as being blatantly new and exciting about it. Would I use it personally? Maybe. Would I recommend and sell it to customers? Sure.” 4.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 55/55 pounds CP (Babolat RPM Blast 16)
“Overall for a poly was average. Played well and easy on the arm. Wish it had more pop. I should have strung it 5 to 10% less.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Prestige Graphene strung at 60 pounds LO (Head Sonic Pro 16)
“Average string — not something I would buy.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Prestige strung at 50/46 pounds LO (Tecnifibre NRG2 16)
“Took awhile to get used to as I use 17 gauge in mains and spin in crosses. Found the ball to fly more in the beginning but was able to adapt quickly. Control was more of an issue all the way to the end of testing.” 4.0 male using Wilson Pro Staff RF strung at 59/56 pounds CP (Wilson Synthetic Gut Duramax/Luxilon 127 Spin 17/16L)
“Started out OK and then began to fade really fast at about the 20 hour mark.” 4.0 male all court player using Prince Warrior 107 Textreme strung at 50 pounds CP (Prince Tour XP 17)
“As recommended, I dropped the tension from my normal 57 pounds to 49 pounds, and was not able to control my shots with any regularity. When using this string, I would not recommended dropping the tension more than 5 pounds from your normal tension.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Pacific Raptor strung at 49 pounds CP (Pacific Premium Power X 16)
“For the first few hours this was a great string. It had all you want from a poly: some comfort and feel with a lot of spin and control. However, the string aged poorly and after about five hours turned into an average poly that was harsh and didn’t produce that much spin. For people who can afford to string frequently, this would be a good choice, considering how well it played for the first hours. Players looking to hit for an extended time with the same string job should look elsewhere. I’m curious to try this string in a hybrid setup and see how that works out.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Pro Staff 90 strung at 50 pounds CP (Volk Classic Synthetic/Topspin Cyber Blue 16/17)
“Was not used to the really low tension requested. It took a little getting used to. Did not find any particular advantage with the lower tension, but felt it might have given more power, rather more depth through the trampoline effect. I would assume more spin as well, but not measurable.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson Juice 100S strung at 46 pounds CP (Luxilon 4G/Wilson NXT 16L/16)
“I did not like the string at all at the beginning, but liked it better as it broke in. I felt a slight discomfort in my elbow at the very beginning, but that went away after about 5 hours of play. I would try the string again in a hybrid setup. It was a good string but not a great string. There was no wow factor for me.” 4.0 male all court player using Volkl Organix 10 Super G 295g strung at 48 pounds CP (Volkl Cyclone/Tourna Synthetic Gut Amour 19/17)
“Having to lower the tension with this string, I felt like I lost some of the feel but gained a lot more pop than normal. Stiffer sweet spot didn’t give me much feel with touch shots.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson BLX Two strung at 56 pounds LO (Luxilon 4G/Wilson NXT 16/16)
“I feel this string would be an excellent candidate as a hybrid. I would purchase this string and use it as a hybrid. As a full pattern string I feel it represents too stiff a performance for the majority of my customers.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince Speedport Black strung at 52/50 pounds CP (MSV Hex 19)
“This string played great at first — comfortable with good power on groundstrokes while volleys were pretty good; however it lost its liveliness very rapidly. It was dead string in 10 hours of playing time. Another negative is this: I was never able to generate the usual spin on serves.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson Steam strung at 51/51 pounds CP (Tourna Big Hitter Black 17)
“As the manufacturer recommended stringing a maximum of 53 pounds, I chose to string at 49 pounds. The string felt great the first few days, but then really seemed to lose tension. Could not feel the great snap-back effect of the string and at times felt like hitting with a piece of plastic. I would not recommend this string for a player looking to string at a higher tension if the manufacturer only wants it strung at low tension.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Ultra strung at 49/49 pounds CP (Luxilon 4G 125 Rough 16L)
“I would rate this as a middle-of-the-road string. It played well enough, but nothing to write home about.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Yonex Ezone Team + strung at 45/45 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 16)
“This is a pretty stiff string. It is very durable but the overall playability is not what I am looking for. I prefer a softer feel to my string bed and this is a bit stiff for my liking. I like a more pliable string because I feel it gives more comfort and feel and allows me to do more with the ball.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head Graphene XT Instinct MP strung at 50/50 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Black Code/Head Velocity MLT 18/17)
“From my point of view, a solid industrial co-poly. I was waiting for something special and did not find it.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson Ultra strung at 50/50 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite/Wilson NXT 17/17)
“Even at a lower tension, the string was very hard and had very little touch. I feel had I strung it a lot lower this would have been better all the way around. The stringing instructions that were sent need to be adjusted lower. The strings started to hurt my arm toward the end of the testing time.” 4.0 male serve-and-volley player using Prince Warrior Textreme strung at 45/47 pounds LO (Prince Tour XT/Prince Premier Touch 18/16)
“Nothing special about this poly. Played below average as far as power and comfort. It will not make it on my favorites list. Even at a lower tension it failed to provide power.” 3.5 male all court player using Dunlop iDapt 98 strung at 44/44 pounds CP (Wilson NXT17/Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 17/18)
“Typical polyester string, seemed quite thin (17 or 18 gauge). Knots were easy to tie. Playing wise I did not like this string — I had no power and no control.” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson Steam 105 S strung at 53/53 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Pro RedCode 16)
“This was by far the worst ‘modern day’ string I have ever tested for the USRSA. I was unable to use this string in any competitive sets so testing was confined primarily to hitting with a ball machine. In the hands of a 5.5 or higher with a hard-hitting baseline game this string might perform OK. I found it to be extremely stiff; lacking consistent power, leaving many of my baseline drives in the net. I let others hit with it only to find their comments similar to mine. The durability seems outstanding, the resistance to movement is similarly great, and the tension maintenance is certainly very acceptable. The lack of finesse was its biggest disappointment. The string sounded like a steel skillet despite the use of a vibration dampener. It certainly created a loud noise on every hard hit. Stringmeter results: Reference tension = 53.0 pounds. After twelve hours, Stringmeter = 49.1 pounds, or a loss on only 3.9 pounds (-7.4%). I could not force myself to use this string more than twelve hours but will get three more in during the next two days. I really hated this one!” 4.5 male all court player using Dunlop iDapt Force 100 S strung at 53/53 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Pro RedCode 1.20/Gamma Synthetic Gut 18/16)
(Strings normally used by testers are in parentheses.)
Ease of Stringing (compared to other strings)
Much easier: 1
Somewhat easier: 6
About as easy: 38
Not quite as easy: 13
Not nearly as easy: 0
Overall Playability (compared to the string played most often)
Much better: 1
Somewhat better: 11
About as playable: 10
Not quite as playable: 31
Not nearly as playable: 6
Overall Durability (compared to other strings of similar gauge)
Much better: 9
Somewhat better: 19
About as durable: 25
Not quite as durable: 6
Not nearly as durable: 1
Rating Averages from 1 to 5 (best)
Spin Potential: 3.4
Holding Tension: 3.2
Resistance to Movement: 3.7
See all articles by Greg Raven
About the Author
Greg Raven is an associate editor for Tennis Industry 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 email@example.com, or through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He plays tennis three to five days a week, and is turning into an avid cyclist.
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