Tennis Industry magazine

 

String Playtest: Laserfibre Vorso 16

By Greg Raven

Laserfibre Vorso is a premium shaped monofilament co-polyester blend. The materials in Vorso are designed to offer a softer feel to promote power and enhance comfort and overall feel, and the advanced twist is designed to provide additional spin potential.

Laserfibre tells us Vorso is a great option for a player’s introduction into poly strings, as it offers the benefits of a polyester without the harsh feel associated with many firmer offerings. Laserfibre also recommends Vorso in hybrid stringing combinations.

Laserfibre is now owned by Sports Source International (SSI), a tennis-specific company owned by industry veterans Paul Zalatoris and Curt Dailey.

Vorso is available in 16 gauge (1.28 mm) and 17 gauge (1.23 mm), in black. MAP pricing for Vorso is $12.95 for 40-foot sets and $149.95 for 660-foot reels. (USRSA member prices are $7.50 for sets and $90 for reels.)

For more information or to order, contact Laserfibre at 844-448-3664, or visit laserfibre.com.

In the Lab

We tested the 16-gauge Vorso. The coil measured 40 feet, 2 inches. The diameter measured 1.27 mm prior to stringing and 1.25 mm after stringing. We recorded a string-bed stiffness of 67 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 65 RDC units, representing a 3 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, 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 Laserfibre Vorso 16 has a stiffness of 182 and a tension loss of 18.92 pounds. Vorso 16 added 15.1 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 25 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 5.0. These are blind tests, with testers receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. The average number of hours playtested was 22.5.

Laserfibre recommends pre-stretching and a 5 percent reduction in reference tension for Vorso, which we advised to our playtest team members. Without pre-stretching, Vorso can be unruly, but the twisted texture does not interfere with normal stringing.

No playtester broke the sample during stringing, 10 reported problems with coil memory, one reported problems tying knots and two reported other problems.

On the Court

Our playtesters rated Vorso 16 as excellent in the Spin Potential category, indicating that it is performing as Laserfibre designed. They also rated Vorso 16 well above average in Durability, Resistance to Movement, Control and Touch/Feel. As a result, the overall average rating for Laserfibre Vorso 16 is well above average among the 197 strings in our published reports.

No playtester reported premature fraying or peeling, three reported buzzing and five reported notching. Two broke the sample during playtesting, one at eight hours and one at 19 hours.

Conclusion

This is our first playtest of a Laserfibre string, and the results speak highly of the new offering. With high marks in five of our nine evaluation categories, Vorso represents a great introduction to the product line. It might not be such a surprise that Vorso rated highly in Spin Potential, given its texture, but it also delivers on the promise of better overall feel with its high marks in Touch/Feel.

Playtester Comments

“I loved this string. It was very playable and provided a lot of touch and feel. I was able to get a lot of control on my serve in particular. Thanks for letting me play test this I can’t wait to find out who is making it.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Strike strung at 45 pounds LO (Babolat RPM Blast 15L)

“If there was a string that could magically take 5 years off of your aging game, this is the string. You need to try this string. It will add power, spin, control … all those adjectives that you’ve lost over the last 5 years. Only thing I don’t like is the coil memory on stringing crosses. Stop reading this review and go out and get this string!” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince Speedport Black strung at 51 pounds CP (MSV Go Max 16)

“This was the easiest polyester string to install that I have ever used. The string played softer than other polyester strings but did not give up anything in playability or feel. It has held tension exceptionally well and was very resistant to movement.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Yonex EZone Team + strung at 45 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 16 16)

“Really enjoyed this string. Provided a wide range of opportunity to work the ball. One of the more comfortable strings I have tested, yet I did not feel I had to sacrifice any performance at all in any aspect of my game. I would describe it as a remarkable blend of comfort and high-end performance.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson Blade strung at 40/45 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite/Wilson NXT 17/17)

“Immense power and feel, but spin was lacking. Great string for players who hit the ball very flat. Power and feel make this ideal for flat groundstrokes. I did have issues getting topspin on my forehand, when I tried to hit hard/heavy shots. String was very easy to install; even before pre-stretching there was very little coil memory.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson Pro Open strung at 58 pounds LO (Luxilon ALU Power 1.25 16L)

“This is a very predictable string. I felt confident going for aggressive shots knowing I could get the spin and depth control to hit my targets.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Yonex Ezone DR strung at 45 pounds CP (Luxilon ALU Power 16L)

“This is one the best strings I have playtested. Solid power, control, and comfort. It also seemed to hold tension well. I would recommend this string for my college players and club members.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Speed MPA strung at 44 pounds CP (Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 17)

“This string played like a hybrid setup. Great feel and comfort.” 4.5 male all court player using Yonex strung at 53 pounds CP (Luxilon Timo/Head PPS 18/16)

“String has a controlled soft feel and nice bite for spin on serves. Not a lot of power on ground strokes or volleys but I could place the ball nicely to targets. I like that the strings didn’t move around in the frame.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Blade strung at 60 pounds CP (Gamma Ocho XP 16)

“Good topspin, slice, sometimes a bit too much power. Not a bad poly.” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson Steam 105S strung at 53 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Red Code Wax 16)

“I wasn’t sure this string would be much different than most poly strings, but I was pleasantly surprised at its performance and feel. Spin and control are its assets, and — as experienced — durability. I am eager to find out the brand and model.” 4.0 all court player using Head GrapheneXT Speed Pro strung at 40 pounds CP (Gamma Poly Z 18)

“I found the string to play well at 48 pounds (no pre-stretch). The feel was a little on the muted side, which I didn’t mind. I didn’t struggle to keep the ball in the court when hitting with topspin, but it would occasionally fly on flat drives. Backhand slices stayed super low, to the dismay of my hitting partner.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince Textreme Tour 95 strung at 48 pounds CP (Prince Tour XC/Prince Premier Control 16L/16)

“I was a little concerned when I took the racquet off the machine and the string bed felt really stiff. I thought that this would play like a really stiff poly string and jar my arm. I was pleasantly surprised when the strings played much softer than I thought they would. Tension maintenance was excellent. The textured string gave some extra bite to the ball, but not as much as some of the more radically angled strings out there. Overall this was a nice playtest and I would recommend this string to customers who are looking for a poly monofilament that doesn’t lose tension over time.” 4.5 male all court player using Volkl V-Sense 4 strung at 46 pounds CP (Solinco Hyper G/Babolat N.vy 16L/17)

“This string performed very well from the baseline. Good pocketing of the ball allowed for great spin and power.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Aero strung at 48/45 pounds CP (Luxilon Element 1.25 16L)

“I would recommend this string to all levels of play. It is easier on the arm and performs well at the net and from the base line with enough spin and control. It does lack power so this won’t be the string for players looking for more pop.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head Radical MP strung at 53 pounds CP (Gamma Professional/Tourna Big Red 17/17)

“I liked it. It was comfortable for a poly. Baseliners who use a lot of topspin should enjoy it. Durable too.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive + strung at 45 pounds LO (Babolat Pro Hurricane 16)

“This string played well. Although I don’t think I would switch, it isn’t one I would stay away from if the opportunity presented itself. Right off the stringer is when it felt the best. This string didn’t lose tension very dramatically either though. Definitely a string to look for and try in my shop.” 4.0 male serve-and-volley player using Yonex Duel G 330 strung at 53 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG 17)

“Stringing was not a problem at all. I’ll have to admit it has been a long time since I had to pre-stretch a set of strings. I got to put the string to an immediate test as I had a couple of USTA matches to play and plenty of lessons during the long weekend. I was disappointed immediately with the lack of power and spin I could impart on the ball. I found myself having to swing considerably harder to get the pace I required on my shots. Achieving any spin at all made me alter my strokes. Although I did not enjoy playing my matches with the string (as a matter of fact I stopped playing any matches with the string after two relatively routine ones), I did enjoy feeding balls with the string. Not much effort needed to give my clients a nice consistent feed.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Aero strung at 54.5 pounds LO (Babolat RPM Blast/Tourna Quasi-Gut 16/16)

“The string was easier to string than I thought it would be based on the initial feel and construction. It felt like a shaped co-poly. I liked the spin and power provided by the string, but there was buzzing and pinging despite using a vibration dampener. Overall, not a string I’d probably stock. ” 5.0 male all court player using Volkl C-10 Pro strung at 56 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch/Tecnifibre Black Code 16/17)

“String generated good power. Spin potential was good. Tension retention was adequate, nothing special. I wasn’t crazy over my perception of touch/feel. It’s a durable string.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Youtek Four Star strung at 57 pounds LO (Prince Pro Blend/Prince Syn. Gut 16/16)

“This string had a inclination to kink easily when stringing and had a challenging coil memory. In a crowded forest of string choices this string had a surprisingly comfortable response and players 3.5 and above looking for touch and feel might find some daylight here, certainly worth trying. But the big question is depending on the price point would this string be the Holy Grail and make a player jump ship? IMHO not enough wow factor to make it happen.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Instinct MP strung at 50 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17)

“This is an average string. I personally do not like textured polys and I am stringing fewer and fewer of them these days. It has average playability and really does nothing to enhance the string bed performance.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Graphene Touch Instinct Adaptive strung at 48 pounds CP (Head Hawk/Head Velocity MLT 18/17)

“Even at low tension this string still felt a little harsh. It was not as powerful as I thought it might be at the low tension. It did provide good bite for spin. After 33 hours of play there is noticeable notching and therefore near the breaking point. Overall I thought it was just an average poly.” 4.0 male all court player using Dunlop iDapt 100 strung at 46 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation/Prince Synthetic Gut 17/18)

“String played poorly. Absolutely no feel, control, or power. Poor performance overall. I wouldn’t recommend it.” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson Burn 100LS strung at 55 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17)

“The excessive coil memory made it impossible to straighten out the full length of the coil to pre-stretch it as suggested. Had I had an assistant present while I installed this, I would have pre-stretched it. This string was very stiff and more difficult to install than other poly strings. During cross string installation a strange noise was observed, similar but not quite as bad as the noise heard installing Gamma Ruff. The un-tensioned string measured 1.26 mm while the installed string measured 1.18 mm. The coil kept wanting to ‘coil up’ during stringing. The feel in the racquet was firm. Prior to placing a vibration dampener at the throat, the racquet sounded like a dinner chime with an enduring resonance. Discomfort was felt when hitting forehand volleys and when playing on a chilly morning. Good power was noticed on serving and spin potential was good but not great. Stringmeter results: after 20 hours = 50.1 pounds, a loss of 11.9 pounds off the reference tension of 62 pounds, and a 19.2% loss of original tension. The strings continued to ‘stay put’ despite this tension loss but due to the drop I could not recommend this as a durable string. Therefore it did not display a long useful string life.” 4.0 male all court player using Weed Open Tour strung at 62 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Pro Red Code/Gamma Synthetic Gut 18/16)

Playtester Ratings:

Ease of Stringing (compared to other strings)

Much easier: 0

Somewhat easier: 2

About as easy: 11

Not quite as easy: 10

Not nearly as easy: 2

Overall Playability (compared to the string played most often)

Much better: 1

Somewhat better: 3

About as playable: 5

Not quite as playable: 14

Not nearly as playable: 2

Overall Durability (compared to other strings of similar gauge)

Much better: 2

Somewhat better: 11

About as durable: 9

Not quite as durable: 2

Not nearly as durable: 1

Rating Averages

From 1 to 5 (best)

Playability: 3.4

Durability: 3.9

Power: 3.4

Control: 3.6

Comfort: 3.1

Touch/Feel: 3.2

Spin Potential: 3.6

Holding Tension: 3.2

Resistance to Movement: 3.9

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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 greg@usrsa.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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