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Hmm. It's all your preference really. I have the same stick as you. I have Luxilon strung at 56lbs on one stick, and RPM Blast at 59lbs on the other. I really like the Luxilon because they're more durable. I'm still trying to get use to the RPM's, they just seem to be a much stiffer string. I get good power and spin of of each string. All at 16 gauge. What kind of string was on your APD before they popped? How often do you pop your strings? What was your likes and dislikes of those strings? All things you should consider when choosing your next string setup.
RPM Blast at 56 lbs? Or is it Hurricane Tour? In either case, I think that is too low because the APD is already powerful with a wide beam width. Ask him to redo it, for free labor although you would pay for another string set. That is really his fault, going over what you wanted originally.
Hi. (I moved this thread to the Equipment category by the way).
I think it is interesting that you are thinking about 18 ga. I'm not sure if you are a hard hitter, but those thin ga. strings break really easily. I like the 17 ga. because you still get a good feel, but lasts longer. Basically, your proposed hybrid set up sounds good. I think a lot of people use that exact arrangement. You might want to ask this question to our stringers in the racquet stringers group here: http://tennisopolis.com/group/racketstringersunite
Rick gives great advice! He is actually my stringer! hehe He has like 20 different racquets with all different setups! So he has great input on all setups!
Gosen OG sheep is a "hot" string, meaning a full bed of that will zing off, especially on volleys. There is a reason it is only $2.00 for a whole set. It works fine as a cross though as Rick suggest. I've used it with Tecnifibre Red Code 16 mains/ Sheep cross. Other thing is it loses tension fast.
I use that chart also. It will give you a big hint into what to expect.
Alu Rough is a great string. Fed uses it on the cross. One of my partners tried full Alu Rough and although it lasted him two months, he hated the boardy feel. He's a serve and volleyer.
I would use Natural gut on the mains and Prince Lightning on the horizontals. You get the feel of gut with the durability of synthetic gut.