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View Full Version : Difference between Tonic and VS


Blask
09-19-2008, 04:55 PM
I dropped off one of my K Six One to get strung at the local tennis shop. I specifically asked for VS as I heard it was the "gold standard" of natural gut. I have never hit with natural gut before so I wanted to try the best and see what happens. Well, I went to pick up my stick today and it was strung with Tonic instead of VS. I wasn't happy about it , but since they normally do a great job and string racquets quickly for me I didn't gripe. They also gave me a great deal on the string job.

I normally hit with Kevlar (either pro blend or crossfire) so I'm looking forward to giving my arm a much needed break

For anyone who has used both strings, what's the playability difference between VS and Tonic.

Thanks

rich s
09-19-2008, 05:17 PM
you will notice a difference in price between VS and Tonic long before you notice a difference in playability.

Popular speculation is that VS is held to higher quality standards in terms of diameter and asthetics and those stings that don't make the grade are sold as Tonic.

Whether it is true or not I don't know, but I couldn't see the two playing that differently. IMO if you could feel a difference you probably should be getting paid to play.

Keifers
09-19-2008, 05:55 PM
I would add that you should notice a huge difference between your new string job and the Kevlar you used to use.

Would be interesting to hear your impressions after you've hit some.

jim e
09-19-2008, 06:42 PM
I heard the main difference is uniformity of the gauge thickness, (some players here are sensitive to that, I'm not), and also cosmetic blemishes, although a # of people had theirs break while stringing it do to flaws, that is why I never used it, and just stuck with the VS.
Actually I am surprised that if you asked for VS, that they put in tonic, as they are different, (thats why there is a $ difference).
Another reason to add to the big list why it is best to string your own.
If they changed strings on what you asked for, how do you know that tension or something else was done proper?
They should have at least called you to get your OK to substitute strings before they did it, don't you think?

JavierLW
09-19-2008, 07:27 PM
I dropped off one of my K Six One to get strung at the local tennis shop. I specifically asked for VS as I heard it was the "gold standard" of natural gut. I have never hit with natural gut before so I wanted to try the best and see what happens. Well, I went to pick up my stick today and it was strung with Tonic instead of VS. I wasn't happy about it , but since they normally do a great job and string racquets quickly for me I didn't gripe. They also gave me a great deal on the string job.

I normally hit with Kevlar (either pro blend or crossfire) so I'm looking forward to giving my arm a much needed break

For anyone who has used both strings, what's the playability difference between VS and Tonic.

Thanks

a) I dont feel there is any difference, and I doubt you would notice, but:

b) I dont care, it's a $10 difference. They either need to restring it, or they owe you $10 (or whatever the price difference is).

If they did that to me, I dont think Id want to go back there again. If they cant even put the string in that I paid for who knows if they are even stringing at the tension I want, or doing anything else properly with my racquet??

ssjadway
09-19-2008, 08:23 PM
Tonic is basically the 'seconds' quality of the VS gut...

Slight imperfections in consistency of the thickness (gauge) is the main reason VS gut gets branded as Tonic.......it will still play as well or virtually as well as the VS, but may have slight variations in the gauge.....will people below the level of the top 200 players in the world notice....highly unlikely...

What we lesser mortals should do is take the $10 discount and play with a string that at our level will be indistinguishable from the top quality VS.

shoesandko
09-19-2008, 09:40 PM
Did they give you a reason for using Tonic over the VS? out of stock perhaps?
They should of at least asked you, great deal or not. On the other hand can you tell the diffence?

Valjean
09-20-2008, 05:26 AM
In the six-gut playtest the USRSA did a while back that included both VS and Tonic+, VS topped the list overall and Tonic+ came in just a rousing fifth.

Blask
09-20-2008, 05:47 AM
They were legitimately surprised that it was strung improperly. There was a kid working the counter when I dropped it off and he only wrote "Bab natural gut" on the slip so I'm not sure the actual stringer realized it was wrong. I didn't see what he wrote until I picked it up. Like I said before, they've been very good to me over the years so I definitely don't think it was intentional. They also said that if I didn't like it I could bring it back and they would swap the strings out for VS for free. I just wanted to hit with it this morning so I didn't just leave it there.

Now for the comparisons

I've used Kevlar for so long that I didn't know what to expect. The first thing I noticed was the sound the strings made when I hit with it, completely different sound and feel. It took me a little while to control the groundstrokes. I warmed up with them for about 20 minutes or so and eventually I got it under control.

I played a set of doubles after that.. the groundies were inconsistent, I think I just need more time with them. I felt that I had a little bit of an issue controlling depth. With kevlar, I can hit with a ton of bite and not worry about it sailing long.. with the Tonic I felt that the ball wasn't holding as much topspin initially.

Volleys were pretty bad off the backhand side. I'm not sure if it was the strings or my play in general, but I dumped several volleys that were low to the BH side in to the net. I hit several clean forehand winners though and a few very nice touch volleys that felt great.

The serves were most impressive , it wasn't the power that I liked, it was the accuracy. I was serving deep in the box and all 3 of my normal serve types (flat, kick and slice) were landing where I wanted them. I held both of my service games easily with a lot of service winners. Maybe the best part was it didn't aggravate my tennis elbow like Kevlar does.

I might take the racquet back since it's free to get the VS put in this week. I'm not 100% sold on Nat Gut yet only because I need to hit with it more. I've used Kevlar for 17+ years so I'm sure it would take a while to get used to any other string.

Thanks for all of the good feedback

Ljubicic for number1
09-20-2008, 05:52 AM
In the six-gut playtest the USRSA did a while back that included both VS and Tonic+, VS topped the list overall and Tonic+ came in just a rousing fifth.


Do you know if this was a blind test?

Ljubicic for number1
09-20-2008, 06:02 AM
They were legitimately surprised that it was strung improperly. There was a kid working the counter when I dropped it off and he only wrote "Bab natural gut" on the slip so I'm not sure the actual stringer realized it was wrong. I didn't see what he wrote until I picked it up. Like I said before, they've been very good to me over the years so I definitely don't think it was intentional. They also said that if I didn't like it I could bring it back and they would swap the strings out for VS for free. I just wanted to hit with it this morning so I didn't just leave it there.

Now for the comparisons

I've used Kevlar for so long that I didn't know what to expect. The first thing I noticed was the sound the strings made when I hit with it, completely different sound and feel. It took me a little while to control the groundstrokes. I warmed up with them for about 20 minutes or so and eventually I got it under control.

I played a set of doubles after that.. the groundies were inconsistent, I think I just need more time with them. I felt that I had a little bit of an issue controlling depth. With kevlar, I can hit with a ton of bite and not worry about it sailing long.. with the Tonic I felt that the ball wasn't holding as much topspin initially.

Volleys were pretty bad off the backhand side. I'm not sure if it was the strings or my play in general, but I dumped several volleys that were low to the BH side in to the net. I hit several clean forehand winners though and a few very nice touch volleys that felt great.

The serves were most impressive , it wasn't the power that I liked, it was the accuracy. I was serving deep in the box and all 3 of my normal serve types (flat, kick and slice) were landing where I wanted them. I held both of my service games easily with a lot of service winners. Maybe the best part was it didn't aggravate my tennis elbow like Kevlar does.

I might take the racquet back since it's free to get the VS put in this week. I'm not 100% sold on Nat Gut yet only because I need to hit with it more. I've used Kevlar for 17+ years so I'm sure it would take a while to get used to any other string.

Thanks for all of the good feedback



I understand that they made a mistake and you didn't get what you wanted but if they have indeed been good to you over the years like you said earlier, and gave you a good price then I wouldn't take them up on the VS restring this time. You are coming from kevlar so I highly doubt you are going to feel the difference between VS and Tonic at this point in time anyway.

Its your call but I would keep a good relationship and maybe ask for a discount on the next VS job. Just seems a waste to cut the tonic out for both parties.