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View Full Version : OMG Babolat 17 Gut. Nothing short of amazing


Brad Bartlett
09-23-2008, 09:14 AM
54 year old 4.0 line two doubles USTA player. Switched from Roddick Pure Drive to Nadel Aero Drive. Been using Techfibre 17 at 56 and just strung one with Babolat VS 17 at 56. OMG. I simply can not believe the difference. Since I play at a country club, I am already spend XX amount each month, heck, might as well add some more on. I can see it's not going to last long, but is it amazing. So a couple of questions for the gut veterns:

1) Should I go a bit higher on the tension?
2) How long will it last?
3) String savers??? do they work??
4) Any other hints or help?

baek57
09-23-2008, 11:28 AM
yes string savers work, they may allow your strings to last up to 50% longer. 16 gauge will help as well. you don't need to go higher in tension.

Keifers
09-23-2008, 11:37 AM
54 year old 4.0 line two doubles USTA player. Switched from Roddick Pure Drive to Nadel Aero Drive. Been using Techfibre 17 at 56 and just strung one with Babolat VS 17 at 56. OMG. I simply can not believe the difference. Since I play at a country club, I am already spend XX amount each month, heck, might as well add some more on. I can see it's not going to last long, but is it amazing. ...
Glad you're enjoying natural gut.

What Tecnifibre 17 string were you using?

And how can you see the VS 17 is not going to last long?

Thanks.

scotus
09-23-2008, 11:40 AM
Life is too short to play with bad strings. So stick with Babolate VS.

Tension: I usually string it a couple of pounds tigher than I really like. This way after the initial loss, tension maintenance is great throughout the life of the string.

Durability: For me, natural gut lasts much longer than anything. VS Gut lasts about 6 times longer than Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex. Polys are hard to break but they go dead. But gut plays well until it breaks.

String Savers: Don't go overboard with them (it's easy to do when you first start using them). Use it only where as needed.

sciwriter
09-23-2008, 01:18 PM
String savers firm up the string bed and change the feel. So hit a few hours, then put them on strings that need them. One or two a time. If you plaster them all over, you'll have very tight strings.

16 gauge does last longer.

Magnus_CA
09-23-2008, 02:14 PM
I would go higher in tension, maybe 3-4 pounds above what you're used to. VS is more powerful than most synthetics out there so you'll observe negligible power loss and better control. I believe there's about a 10% tension loss with VS in the first 24 hours any way. Based on your racquet specs why not go for mid-tension? You said yourself you don't lack power. You may find the added control helps with your volleys.

Next time I would go with 16G. Not only does it hold tension better but it should help with string movement too. You can pre-stretch 16G more than 17G. A 10% pre-stretch will greatly improve tension loss. String savers will help too, but I would play this set out and see how it does. You may be fine without them.

I had my 16x18 strung with 16G VS to 61 lbs with a 10% pre-stretch. Plays like a dream.

Brad Bartlett
09-25-2008, 12:21 PM
Glad you're enjoying natural gut.

What Tecnifibre 17 string were you using? NSG

And how can you see the VS 17 is not going to last long? It is already freying and very thin in two spots and I do not hit with much topspin.

Thanks.

Brad Bartlett
09-25-2008, 12:25 PM
I would go higher in tension, maybe 3-4 pounds above what you're used to. VS is more powerful than most synthetics out there so you'll observe negligible power loss and better control. I believe there's about a 10% tension loss with VS in the first 24 hours any way. Based on your racquet specs why not go for mid-tension? You said yourself you don't lack power. You may find the added control helps with your volleys.

Next time I would go with 16G. Not only does it hold tension better but it should help with string movement too. You can pre-stretch 16G more than 17G. A 10% pre-stretch will greatly improve tension loss. String savers will help too, but I would play this set out and see how it does. You may be fine without them.

I had my 16x18 strung with 16G VS to 61 lbs with a 10% pre-stretch. Plays like a dream.



Great info.......................I am going to try the 16.............but I did and have been prestretching the strings, both the gut and NSG 17........

Being 54 years old, the spillover benefit is that my elbow is feeling GREAT........I am on the downside of golfers elbow..........but there is a noticeable difference on my elbow and arm.................

Brad Bartlett
09-25-2008, 12:27 PM
Life is too short to play with bad strings. So stick with Babolate VS.

Tension: I usually string it a couple of pounds tigher than I really like. This way after the initial loss, tension maintenance is great throughout the life of the string.

Durability: For me, natural gut lasts much longer than anything. VS Gut lasts about 6 times longer than Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex. Polys are hard to break but they go dead. But gut plays well until it breaks.

String Savers: Don't go overboard with them (it's easy to do when you first start using them). Use it only where as needed.

Your first line is my new motto..................heck...........spending $800 a month anyway.......what's $50 more.............I don not hit with a lot of top but at 56 they are moving slightly and rubbing and freying...........................I am interested to see how long this set lasts...................and as stated I am prestretching.

scotus
09-26-2008, 09:45 AM
Your first line is my new motto..................heck...........spending $800 a month anyway.......what's $50 more.............I don not hit with a lot of top but at 56 they are moving slightly and rubbing and freying...........................I am interested to see how long this set lasts...................and as stated I am prestretching.

Good for you. I have tried Klip Legend 17 & 18, BDE Performance 16, Pacific ToughGut 17, and some no name guts, and there's nothing quite like Babolat VS Team.

Having said this, I always cross the gut main with a synthetic like Iso-Speed Professional, Head Protector, or a soft poly.

Apply string savers where you see the strings fray, and you will enjoy your gut much longer.

prestigeprolover
09-26-2008, 10:49 AM
i'm playing with babolat natural gut 17 right now too on my prestige mgpp. have it at 60 pounds. its a 16x19 string pattern.

it feels great! my back up raquet as the babolat xcel power 17g and there is just absolutely no comparison. the vs hits so crisps and the extra power is great.

but i do agree with you. i'm not sure it'll last that long. i played a match the other day and it already started fraying. i'll stick with babolat vs for my main raquet from now on. i *may* try the 16g to see if i can get a bit more durability but we'll see.

babolat vs FTW!

Brad Bartlett
10-01-2008, 12:47 PM
I wanted to give a follow up after three weeks now. Have played A LOT. Probably 12 matches or so. I am still as jazzed today as the day I put the gut in. It is fraying and it won't be long until I have to restring, but who the heck cares. If you are reading this and have not ever tried gut, I swear it will change your entire outlook on the game. It is that radical. My elbow feels much better, the sound coming off the frame is great, I can feel the cupping action, and I am hitting harder than ever. Why did I wait 35 years to try this?

scotus
10-01-2008, 01:53 PM
Why did I wait 35 years to try this?

So true is our motto: "Life is too short to play with bad strings."

I am glad you have finally found your holy grail of strings.

superstition
10-01-2008, 02:56 PM
Why did I wait 35 years to try this?
Because kevlar at low tension = magic?

Prince "synthetic gut" with kevlar = awesome?

McDonald's food is just as good as gourmet?

davidahenry
10-01-2008, 03:02 PM
Because kevlar at low tension = magic?

Prince "synthetic gut" with kevlar = awesome?

McDonald's food is just as good as gourmet?

Perhaps some sarcasm there, but I found it funny nonetheless. Thanks for the laugh superstition.

mctennis
10-03-2008, 03:50 AM
I, like yourself, switched a while back to gut from other harsher string combinations. The difference was so great I was amazed also. Great er control and also the strings last a lot, lot longer also. It's cheaper to use gut than it is synthetic stings since you don't have to re-string gut as often.
I string a couple of lbs higher with gut but not too much. Experiment with a lb or two higher at first. I wouldn't jump 4 lbs right away. Anything over about 60 lbs is wasted.
Glad you finally switched. You'll not be sorry.

Tim W
10-03-2008, 04:19 AM
If the strings are getting a bit "hairy", just really quickly run a lighter under the strings. Make sure you don't go too overboard though.

Il Mostro
10-03-2008, 04:21 AM
Very timely thread. I will be stringing one of my racquets with VS Team over the weekend and also have Klip Armour 17g coming in next week (this stuff was hard to find in stock - borderline unobtanium).

I wonder if anyone has tried a natural gut hybrid, using VS team mains and the stiffer, more durable Klip Armour 17g as crosses. Might be an interesting third option for me to try. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Pusher
10-03-2008, 04:26 AM
54 year old 4.0 line two doubles USTA player. Switched from Roddick Pure Drive to Nadel Aero Drive. Been using Techfibre 17 at 56 and just strung one with Babolat VS 17 at 56. OMG. I simply can not believe the difference. Since I play at a country club, I am already spend XX amount each month, heck, might as well add some more on. I can see it's not going to last long, but is it amazing. So a couple of questions for the gut veterns:

1) Should I go a bit higher on the tension?
2) How long will it last?
3) String savers??? do they work??
4) Any other hints or help?

I'm not a pro stringer but I have strung a lot of gut, mostly for my son, now playing D-1 tennis.

A few suggestions:

-Consider getting a thicker gauge gut. The best gut I ever used is Wilson 15 gauge. Its premium Babolat gut. I don't buy into the thinner is better mantra commonly seen on this board.

-When stringing gut I always string the crosses 2lbs higher then the referenced tension (56) and the mains 2lbs lower. This locks in the mains, the strings have less movement and string life is exteneded by about 30%.

-Use string savers-they work and there are no negative effects.

-I apply wax to natural gut during the stringing process. Its not necessary but major damage to natural gut can occur when stringing the crosses. The wax helps minimixze the damage and extend string life. And since natural gut is an organic string the wax will help protect against the elements. Mothers California Gold wax is the best.

-How long will it last? No one can tell you that, its mostly based on the way you play.

Hope that helps.

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 08:25 AM
54 year old 4.0 line two doubles USTA player. Switched from Roddick Pure Drive to Nadel Aero Drive. Been using Techfibre 17 at 56 and just strung one with Babolat VS 17 at 56. OMG. I simply can not believe the difference. Since I play at a country club, I am already spend XX amount each month, heck, might as well add some more on. I can see it's not going to last long, but is it amazing. So a couple of questions for the gut veterns:

1) Should I go a bit higher on the tension?
2) How long will it last?
3) String savers??? do they work??
4) Any other hints or help?

Hey Brad,
I had the same experience when I went from a Poly (actually it was Spinfire) to the Natural Gut (Klip Legend in my case) and it was such an incredible feeling. Its easy to get used to. I have been playing Babolat 17g for a few months and it is a nice string.

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 08:27 AM
Good for you. I have tried Klip Legend 17 & 18, BDE Performance 16, Pacific ToughGut 17, and some no name guts, and there's nothing quite like Babolat VS Team.

Having said this, I always cross the gut main with a synthetic like Iso-Speed Professional, Head Protector, or a soft poly.

Apply string savers where you see the strings fray, and you will enjoy your gut much longer.

how would you compare/contrast the Legend with the Babolat 17g?

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 08:30 AM
I'm not a pro stringer but I have strung a lot of gut, mostly for my son, now playing D-1 tennis.

A few suggestions:

-Consider getting a thicker gauge gut. The best gut I ever used is Wilson 15 gauge. Its premium Babolat gut. I don't buy into the thinner is better mantra commonly seen on this board.

-When stringing gut I always string the crosses 2lbs higher then the referenced tension (56) and the mains 2lbs lower. This locks in the mains, the strings have less movement and string life is exteneded by about 30%.

-Use string savers-they work and there are no negative effects.

-I apply wax to natural gut during the stringing process. Its not necessary but major damage to natural gut can occur when stringing the crosses. The wax helps minimixze the damage and extend string life. And since natural gut is an organic string the wax will help protect against the elements. Mothers California Gold wax is the best.

-How long will it last? No one can tell you that, its mostly based on the way you play.

Hope that helps.

I just got a pack of the Babolat 15g. What is the difference from 16 or 17 g Babolat strings? Thanks for any information.:)

scotus
10-03-2008, 10:11 AM
how would you compare/contrast the Legend with the Babolat 17g?

VS is much more comfortable and playable than Legend.

To be very frank, Legend 17G does not feel like natural gut at all if pre-stretched. It can turn into a very boardy and stiff string, and it didn't help me at all back when I was struggling with arm pain. I have had much better luck with Legend 18G (I do not prestretch this either).

As for VS, I like the cupping feel, control, spin ... I even like the sound of the thud when I go for a winner.

Do I think it's worth the extra money? You betcha!

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 10:23 AM
VS is much more comfortable and playable than Legend.

To be very frank, Legend 17G does not feel like natural gut at all if pre-stretched. It can turn into a very boardy and stiff string, and it didn't help me at all back when I was struggling with arm pain. I have had much better luck with Legend 18G (I do not prestretch this either).

As for VS, I like the cupping feel, control, spin ... I even like the sound of the thud when I go for a winner.

Do I think it's worth the extra money? You betcha!

Here is the thing, I tried Klip Legend right after using Poly for a while. So any NG would feel awesome compared to Poly. I got the cupping feel, great control and nice spin. My shoulder pain went away too.

I tried the BDE Performance and did not like the string much. It felt a little dead and there was littl spin. I won't buy it again.

I am now using Babolat 17g. I agree the cupping action is noticeable. I also think the string has some juice and is relatively soft.
I have a pack of Babolat 15g which I will try next along with some string I got from Samster (Iso Speed for the cross).

I tend to like a crisp string and I don't want too much power. That is the main reason why I went to Klip and will probably go back.
I have heard the 18g Klip Legend plays extremely well. I don't pre-stretch gut. What are your thoughts on the Legend 18g?

scotus
10-03-2008, 10:55 AM
Here is the thing, I tried Klip Legend right after using Poly for a while. So any NG would feel awesome compared to Poly. I got the cupping feel, great control and nice spin. My shoulder pain went away too.

I tried the BDE Performance and did not like the string much. It felt a little dead and there was littl spin. I won't buy it again.

I am now using Babolat 17g. I agree the cupping action is noticeable. I also think the string has some juice and is relatively soft.
I have a pack of Babolat 15g which I will try next along with some string I got from Samster (Iso Speed for the cross).

I tend to like a crisp string and I don't want too much power. That is the main reason why I went to Klip and will probably go back.
I have heard the 18g Klip Legend plays extremely well. I don't pre-stretch gut. What are your thoughts on the Legend 18g?


Good. I am glad to hear that you are not prestretching Legend. And since you like it crisp and you like everything about Legend, you really have no reason to pay more for VS.

Concerning the 18G Legend, you will get more spin out of it but less durability. I personally prefer the 18 over 17. But give it a try once and stick to the one you like.

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 11:04 AM
Good. I am glad to hear that you are not prestretching Legend. And since you like it crisp and you like everything about Legend, you really have no reason to pay more for VS.

Concerning the 18G Legend, you will get more spin out of it but less durability. I personally prefer the 18 over 17. But give it a try once and stick to the one you like.

I never break strings and I play 1-2 times per week (around 4 hours total). I play mostly doubles, so my strings last quite a while. I am not worried about durability too much. Is the 18g still crisp? I string at around 58 lbs...would this need to be changed?

Il Mostro
10-03-2008, 11:12 AM
I tend to like a crisp string and I don't want too much power. That is the main reason why I went to Klip and will probably go back.
You might also take a look at Klip Armour Pro -- reportedly more crisp and less powerful than other guts, which is what attracted me to it. The reports I've read seem to indicate better durability, too.

scotus
10-03-2008, 11:34 AM
I never break strings and I play 1-2 times per week (around 4 hours total). I play mostly doubles, so my strings last quite a while. I am not worried about durability too much. Is the 18g still crisp? I string at around 58 lbs...would this need to be changed?

Good, then you have nothing to worry about.

18G is still crisp but comfortable as gut should be. As for tension, it's hard to say. There's the rule about changing just 1 variable at a time, but personally I would go 1-2 lbs higher.

You should also ask your stringer to use a "slow-pull" function on his machine, just to be on the safe side with the thinner gauge.

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 06:25 PM
You might also take a look at Klip Armour Pro -- reportedly more crisp and less powerful than other guts, which is what attracted me to it. The reports I've read seem to indicate better durability, too.

really? less powered than Legend?

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 06:27 PM
Good, then you have nothing to worry about.

18G is still crisp but comfortable as gut should be. As for tension, it's hard to say. There's the rule about changing just 1 variable at a time, but personally I would go 1-2 lbs higher.

You should also ask your stringer to use a "slow-pull" function on his machine, just to be on the safe side with the thinner gauge.

I appreciate the info. I string myself and I take my time with gut.:)

scotus
10-03-2008, 06:32 PM
I appreciate the info. I string myself and I take my time with gut.:)

No problem.

If you don't mind me asking, what's the story behind your user-name change?

Mansewerz
10-03-2008, 07:09 PM
Yes, "S***", it was pretty weird not seeing "S***" over that avatar.

I thought you were being impersonated.





M

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 07:33 PM
No problem.

If you don't mind me asking, what's the story behind your user-name change?

no longer felt comfortable with my name on it. will also delete the signature in a few weeks.

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 07:34 PM
Yes, S***, it was pretty weird not seeing "S***" over that avatar.

I thought you were being impersonated.





M

ha ha..no it is me...

Mansewerz
10-03-2008, 07:35 PM
ha ha..no it is me...

Looks can be deceiving. :D




M

Azzurri
10-03-2008, 07:49 PM
kinda hard hiding a pr%ck.

Mansewerz
10-03-2008, 07:51 PM
kinda hard hiding a pr%ck.

Wait wha???? Did I do something to offend you? I hope you no I was just joking and referring to something else.




M

Il Mostro
10-03-2008, 09:49 PM
really? less powered than Legend?

Yes, it has a coating that gives it a more crisp feel and delivers less power. See the user reviews at TW. I am getting ready for my first natural gut string job with VS Team and will try the Klip Armour Pro next.

Azzurri
10-04-2008, 08:55 AM
Wait wha???? Did I do something to offend you? I hope you no I was just joking and referring to something else.




M

no no...I was agreeing with you. I was also making a joke...I was saying its hard to hide my personality because I am a pr!ck on the boards (sometimes)....LOL..sorry, I should have put a smiley face.:)

Azzurri
10-04-2008, 08:56 AM
Yes, it has a coating that gives it a more crisp feel and delivers less power. See the user reviews at TW. I am getting ready for my first natural gut string job with VS Team and will try the Klip Armour Pro next.

thanks again. I have heard good things about Armour Pro.