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Vibration Dampeners

Published: 25 Jun 2007 - 23:08 by stevo

Updated: 19 Sep 2008 - 17:32

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Quite a few posts on here mention vibration dampeners so I thought I'd dig a little deeper.

The last two rackets I have had came with vibration dampeners, Dunlops, you know that cute little squash ball vibration dampener, double yellow one side, dunlop logo the other. Very handy when spinning for serve. Everyone goes for double yellow, it always lands dunlop.

Anyway I digress. The first of the two Dunlops was an Ice Elite. Once, after the racket struck the wall the dampener came out (I didn't notice). For the next few shots I though the racket was cracked until I noticed the dampener on the floor. So I kept using the thing.

Next racket (current racket) is M-Fil Pro. Because of my experience with the Ice Elite I decided to leave the dampener in. But the other day I noticed someone using one without so I decided to give it a go, sans dampener. The racket felt really good, lively and responsive.

I have also noticed none of the pro's with dampeners, although I guess they hit the sweet spot too often to bother with one.

Anyway, I just wanted to get opinions from the forum. Better with or without? Depends on the racket perhaps, or is it just a matter of ability to hit the sweet spot? Can they cause the racket to feel a bit dead, i.e. not enough feedback on the stroke?

I am going to keep going without the dampener in to see how the racket feels.

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From rippa rit - 29 Jun 2007 - 07:05

sparty - just thought of a conference I went to, a guest speaker, a bio-mechanist, who had spent a lot of time researching the speed of tennis, string tension etc.  One point he made was when the ball hits the racket the speed causes the strings go inwards before they go forward giving a slingshot effect.
The up side is it gives more speed, but the downside is it may interfere with accuracy.
(This is described in my own words of course, too)

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From stevo - 28 Jun 2007 - 22:28

Thanks for all the replies.

I have played a few times now and I think I prefer the racket without the dampener. It has a more lively feel to it.

For the record, I have tecnifibre 305 strings at 25 lbs. The Ice Elite was tecnifibre 330 at 28 lbs so that could have made the difference.

Sparty, you really dug through the archives to find that pic eh? I don't see any current top players using them ... but good find.

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From rippa rit - 28 Jun 2007 - 08:06

yeah - a good point about the tension of the strings causing the jarring too. 
When the strings are too tight the bat feels like a board for the first couple of weeks, and do not have much feel about them.  It is a bit annoying when you are a touch player, as too much tension does not suit for the "feel", and worse when you get a jarred elbow too.

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From hamburglar - 27 Jun 2007 - 21:30

Of multifilaments, natural gut has the best dampening properties. I've tried it in a squash racquet and it definitely is the case---you can even string it several pounds lower because the elastic properties are so good and the tension lasts for so long. Problem is the string is quite expensive and doesn't last as long as synthethics. Synthetic multis should be somewhere in between gut and monos. You can string them at lower tensions (especially powernick18) which right there means they will vibrate at lower frequency, and for not as long. Cheap strings lose tension quicker over time and therefore much be strung higher and will have more 'ping' to them.

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From nickhitter - 27 Jun 2007 - 19:08   -   Updated: 27 Jun 2007 - 19:17

you will also have more problems if you like your rackets strung tight. as looser stringing creates a softer feel obviously. I found the softest/best string for (lack of ) vibration to be ashaway powernick 18 believe it or not, although most people will tell you it is tecnifibre 305/225.

as for tennis, I read that the reason Roger Federer doesn't use dampeners is because he says it interferes with the natural flex and vibration of the string which affects power etc. how much of that is true and applies to squash too I'm not sure...


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From Adz - 27 Jun 2007 - 18:33

I used to use a Dunlop ICE Tour and the vibrations were absolutely awful. I eventually settled on the Head Smartsorb which fixed the problem. When I eventually started to mess around with different types of strings, I found that the string choice hugely effects the vibration of the racquet. Then I found that I no longer needed to use a dampener.

At the end of the day, if you use a dampener and like the feel of it, then keep using one! If you don't like the feel of it then don't use one. Not much else to say about it.

Most pro's use higher end, multifilament strings which help to disperse the vibrations better (could be to do with the filaments? Any physicists got any ideas?). That means that they wouldn't need a dampener.

I've spoken to different people who've had the vibration problem with all of the major racquet manufacturers (Dunlop, Prince, Head, Wilson), and wtih cheap and nasty strings, I had the same problem with Grays as well. It's all remidied now though with a good restring.



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From nickhitter - 26 Jun 2007 - 21:22   -   Updated: 26 Jun 2007 - 21:25

I don't use them in my current racket which is a gray's powerflow elite, as it has just the right feedback, but with no vibration. the two things are quite different. I get the same quality from my wilson n120 too.

the best vibration dampeners to get are the (discontinued) prince silencer which you can still get in the states, and the head smartsorb. you should only use them if your racket has bad vibration problems that can potentially cause tennis elbow etc.

I used to think it was only cheap rackets that vibrated badly, but i had a prince o3 tour that had a real problem with it, although other people praised this racket for it's muted feel, which leads me to believe that the same model can be a really great racket in one batch, and be not so good in another. try before buy! I had to use the prince silencer in that racket, as it was the only one that was designed to go in the prince power ring throat design.

I think that the dunlop squash ball dampeners look cool enough to keep them in, although they probably only have an effect on string sound rather than string feel as they only go over two mains.

No pro players use dampeners? here's a pic with amr shabana with the dunlop dampener in his old hotmelt pro. 12 - 1st Round - Amr Shabana pushes aside world no 12 Karim Darwish 0608.jpg

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From John_Playdoh - 26 Jun 2007 - 12:53

I tried many dampeners including Dundop, Prince, etc.  I found that none does the job except rubber bands.  Rubber bands are virtually weightless and do the best job in eliminating the vibrations.  Just tie one around the mains.  You will feel the great difference.  In addition, it does not fall out as long as you tie it securely. 

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From hamburglar - 26 Jun 2007 - 08:25

don't bother with em. It's not like tennis where the ball is so heavy and the string tensions are high. Vibrations on squash racquets will be much lower frequency and any good string will dampen it out. I find the little ping to be good feedback for whether you hit the sweet spot or not. The dampener makes the strings feel dead which is what bad strings feel like.

Ever lose match point because your dampener fell out of your racquet? I saw that happen once, our guy won 10-8 in the fifth because of it.

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