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View Full Version : Gaucho Gut: A Stringer's Perspective


drummerdan
12-07-2009, 09:56 AM
I decided to try these strings out after lots of interest around here. I purchased 2 sets of 16 gauge, natural and received them within about 5 days of ordering them. The shipping time is not fast but acceptable. They arrived in a clear, sealed package and were not relabelled in any way. I decided to be as unbiased as possible and not get caught in any hype, good or bad.
Racquet to be strung: Wilson Ksix one 95, 16x18 pattern, approx 6 months old and in good condition with no issues with grommets or the frame in general. I also decided to go with a full gut job so I could test these strings only with no other strings involved in the process.

I made notes along the way during the stringing and here they are:

1) Opening the package, coil memory and pre-stretch: 2 sets of 20' each. After opening the package, I clipped the 2 plastic ties easily and the string showed typical gut coil memory. I ran my fingers across the entire length of the string and felt no major issues with lumps or bumps. It has a slightly rough feel. It appeared to be very consistent and there is not much coating. Also, the gauge feels a tad larger than 16 but after checking it with my stringmeter, it measured out at 16. It still feels a bit thicker than the VS that I usually use. This string feels like "old school" in that there's just not much coating. I feel that this could cause some issues during stringing (more on that later). I pre-stretched them and they felt very typical of gut in the pre-stretch other than they were a bit stiffer than VS during the pre-stretch. The stretch took out the coil memory, for the most part.

2) Stringing the mains: All went well with the mains. I really took my time on these making sure not to kink or marr the strings. The strings did go through the grommets pretty easily, for the most part, but there were a few times that it had to be "coaxed" through. No worries on them but I wouldn't want to have any thicker strings. Tying the knots were easy and gave no problems.

3) Stringing the crosses: I did not take any additional measures on the crosses but I wish I had. Since there is minimal coating, waxing or other methods may be in order here. The strings are gritty and a little difficult to weave. I couldn't push weave them very easily on the first 3 rows but could resume it through the half-way point. Half-way through the crosses, I had to make sure to be careful to fan the strings because of the notching potential. Tip: Make sure to cut these strings to the proper length so you don't have to pull any more string through than necessary. They are pretty rough on the fingers and are "sticky" through the pulling. Prepare for your fingers to go through a bit of a rough treatment. The last half of the crosses were brutal. I had to weave 1/2 way across first, pull it, and then weave the other half and pull it. It was getting progressively more difficult to pull the strings through as they were fighting me, especially the 2nd half of the crosses. Wow! These were very difficult and I felt at the time that these were not going to last long, or at all, after I get through (if I get through!).

4) After the stringing process came to an end, I felt that this was one of the most difficult strings I have ever strung. However, the mains were pretty good but the crosses fought me and my normal 30 minute string job turned into 50 minutes. If I ever string a full job for a customer, I will have to charge extra for the time. Perhaps things would have been different if I had waxed the strings. I would prefer that Gaucho Gut try to get a bit more coating on them prior to sending the out. This being said, most people will not go with the full gut job and will hybrid them. I suspect that this will go much smoother and the coating on the crosses (of hybrids) will help the weaving process. But, at only $14/set, a full job is very cost effective.

5) I took tension readings (with a Stringmeter) and found the following string tensions losses:

1 hr after stringing 1.25% tension loss
2 hs after stringing 3.04% tension loss
3 hrs after stringing 3.57% tension loss
4 hrs after stringing 4.46% tension loss
24 hrs after stringing 5.71% tension loss
playing 2 1/2 hrs 6.79% tension loss
playing an additional 1 hr 6.79% tension loss

I took tension readings at 9 points across the racquet face and calculated an average. The racquet stayed in the stringer for testing and did not move until taking it out to play. It looks like the tension has stabilized after playing 3 1/2 hrs. This tension loss is extremely good and as good or better than any other string I know of. I'll check tension regularly and update this page.

Note: play was indoors and the first play was done approx 26 hrs after stringing and the 2nd play was done 50 hrs after stringing.

I will post a play test of this soon.

lawlitssoo1n
12-07-2009, 10:38 AM
sweet stuff! i usually hate multi's and gut, but after reading this i might give this a try, mostly because it's cheap!

rogernext
12-07-2009, 10:48 AM
I decided to try these strings out after lots of interest around here. I purchased 2 sets of 16 gauge, natural and received them within about 5 days of ordering them. The shipping time is not fast but acceptable. They arrived in a clear, sealed package and were not relabelled in any way. I decided to be as unbiased as possible and not get caught in any hype, good or bad.
Racquet to be strung: Wilson Ksix one 95, 16x18 pattern, approx 6 months old and in good condition with no issues with grommets or the frame in general. I also decided to go with a full gut job so I could test these strings only with no other strings involved in the process.

I made notes along the way during the stringing and here they are:

1) Opening the package, coil memory and pre-stretch: 2 sets of 20' each. After opening the package, I clipped the 2 plastic ties easily and the string showed typical gut coil memory. I ran my fingers across the entire length of the string and felt no major issues with lumps or bumps. It has a slightly rough feel. It appeared to be very consistent and there is not much coating. Also, the gauge feels a tad larger than 16 but after checking it with my stringmeter, it measured out at 16. It still feels a bit thicker than the VS that I usually use. This string feels like "old school" in that there's just not much coating. I feel that this could cause some issues during stringing (more on that later). I pre-stretched them and they felt very typical of gut in the pre-stretch other than they were a bit stiffer than VS during the pre-stretch. The stretch took out the coil memory, for the most part.

2) Stringing the mains: All went well with the mains. I really took my time on these making sure not to kink or marr the strings. The strings did go through the grommets pretty easily, for the most part, but there were a few times that it had to be "coaxed" through. No worries on them but I wouldn't want to have any thicker strings. Tying the knots were easy and gave no problems.

3) Stringing the crosses: I did not take any additional measures on the crosses but I wish I had. Since there is minimal coating, waxing or other methods may be in order here. The strings are gritty and a little difficult to weave. I couldn't push weave them very easily on the first 3 rows but could resume it through the half-way point. Half-way through the crosses, I had to make sure to be careful to fan the strings because of the notching potential. Tip: Make sure to cut these strings to the proper length so you don't have to pull any more string through than necessary. They are pretty rough on the fingers and are "sticky" through the pulling. Prepare for your fingers to go through a bit of a rough treatment. The last half of the crosses were brutal. I had to weave 1/2 way across first, pull it, and then weave the other half and pull it. It was getting progressively more difficult to pull the strings through as they were fighting me, especially the 2nd half of the crosses. Wow! These were very difficult and I felt at the time that these were not going to last long, or at all, after I get through (if I get through!).

4) After the stringing process came to an end, I felt that this was one of the most difficult strings I have ever strung. However, the mains were pretty good but the crosses fought me and my normal 30 minute string job turned into 50 minutes. If I ever string a full job for a customer, I will have to charge extra for the time. Perhaps things would have been different if I had waxed the strings. I would prefer that Gaucho Gut try to get a bit more coating on them prior to sending the out. This being said, most people will not go with the full gut job and will hybrid them. I suspect that this will go much smoother and the coating on the crosses (of hybrids) will help the weaving process. But, at only $14/set, a full job is very cost effective.

5) I took tension readings (with a Stringmeter) and found the following string tensions losses:

1 hr after stringing 1.25% tension loss
2 hs after stringing 3.04% tension loss
3 hrs after stringing 3.57% tension loss
4 hrs after stringing 4.46% tension loss
24 hrs after stringing 5.71% tension loss
playing 2 1/2 hrs 6.79% tension loss
playing an additional 1 hr 6.79% tension loss

I took tension readings at 9 points across the racquet face and calculated an average. The racquet stayed in the stringer for testing and did not move until taking it out to play. It looks like the tension has stabilized after playing 3 1/2 hrs. This tension loss is extremely good and as good or better than any other string I know of. I'll check tension regularly and update this page.

Note: play was indoors and the first play was done approx 26 hrs after stringing and the 2nd play was done 50 hrs after stringing.

I will post a play test of this soon.

Great info!

Standupnfall
12-07-2009, 10:58 AM
Lucky you.
strung up the Blue Spiral with possibly more precaution than you (not saying anything about your stringing skills only about what you stated in your posting, and I didnt do any hard pulling and waxed mains gently) only to have them break 30 min after stringing and before playing.

I do have a set of Natural 16 and another set of Blue Spiral 16, but Im inquiring about return policy now instead

drummerdan
12-07-2009, 03:34 PM
Lucky you.
strung up the Blue Spiral with possibly more precaution than you (not saying anything about your stringing skills only about what you stated in your posting, and I didnt do any hard pulling and waxed mains gently) only to have them break 30 min after stringing and before playing.

I do have a set of Natural 16 and another set of Blue Spiral 16, but Im inquiring about return policy now instead

I purposely got the natural because I had read that the spirals were giving people problems. Also, I was VERY careful when uncoiling the rolls and did not kink any part of the string.

Zach
12-07-2009, 04:01 PM
Drummerdan, you live in Wichita? I only ask because I live in Salina and it was cool to see a person on these boards so close. If so, where do you play at?

topanlego
12-08-2009, 02:44 PM
Speaking of stringing Gaucho. I just got my order in. Just wondering if anybody with a Alpha String pal has tried stringing it. I think think I may have problems stringing the crosses.

The and last 3 crosses are really far apart and I don't have a triple clamp. When stringing synthetics and polys, I just use the mains to hold the tension for the first few crosses. I doubt I'm going to be able to do that with gut in the mains. Any suggestions?

meowmix
12-08-2009, 03:03 PM
^I string on an Alpha String Pal. Lucky for you, I just strung up a half set of Global Gut in the crosses this past saturday.

Be very, very careful while stringing. The gut unravels like crazy once you're 3/4 of the way through. After you tension each time, make sure to rewrap the gut a bit. You'll also have to keep your tips sharp- be expected to cut new tips about 7-8 times. I had a poly hybrid, so I was able to let the mains hold the tension. With a full gut job, consider using the badmitton clamps as an alternative on the last few crosses.

diredesire
12-09-2009, 03:07 AM
how did you measure gauge with a stringmeter? :confused::confused:

drummerdan
12-09-2009, 06:06 AM
how did you measure gauge with a stringmeter? :confused::confused:

The Stringmeter has a gauge measuring section on it. It has 2 prongs sticking out that you place the string between and read the scale.

topanlego
12-09-2009, 08:45 AM
^I string on an Alpha String Pal. Lucky for you, I just strung up a half set of Global Gut in the crosses this past saturday.

Be very, very careful while stringing. The gut unravels like crazy once you're 3/4 of the way through. After you tension each time, make sure to rewrap the gut a bit. You'll also have to keep your tips sharp- be expected to cut new tips about 7-8 times. I had a poly hybrid, so I was able to let the mains hold the tension. With a full gut job, consider using the badmitton clamps as an alternative on the last few crosses.

Thanks! Glad to hear it's doable with the String Pal. Just waiting for my current strings to break and in goes the gut.

Maybe I'll just get myself a SW triple clamp as a xmas present for myself! :)

marosmith
12-09-2009, 09:18 PM
Thanks! Glad to hear it's doable with the String Pal. Just waiting for my current strings to break and in goes the gut.

Maybe I'll just get myself a SW triple clamp as a xmas present for myself! :)

I am a beginning stringer, but have only strung global (which is where gaucho gets their stuff) and I don't think it's that bad. I oput a little olive oil on my fingers and lube for teh crosses and it seems to work real well.

I haven't really strung normal string so I guess I don't know what an easy string job is like.

diredesire
12-09-2009, 10:38 PM
The Stringmeter has a gauge measuring section on it. It has 2 prongs sticking out that you place the string between and read the scale.

Um, isn't that specifically for the twisting of the meter so you get an accurate reading per gauge? There's no specific diameter measurement on the device, correct?

volusiano
12-10-2009, 12:39 AM
Um, isn't that specifically for the twisting of the meter so you get an accurate reading per gauge? There's no specific diameter measurement on the device, correct?

I think you got confused what drummerdan is talking about with the 2 metal stick where you put the string in between to twist. That's not it. It's the pointy piece of plastic that points north as you look at the face of the Stringmeter where all the number markings are shown. There's a slit in this pointy piece of plastic that gets narrower as you go further in. There are gauge markings of 15, 16 and 17 on both sides of the slit but they're not in white so they don't jump out at you. So you just slide a piece of the string into this slit and the smaller the string, the further it goes in to the higher number gauge.

drummerdan
12-10-2009, 01:29 PM
I think you got confused what drummerdan is talking about with the 2 metal stick where you put the string in between to twist. That's not it. It's the pointy piece of plastic that points north as you look at the face of the Stringmeter where all the number markings are shown. There's a slit in this pointy piece of plastic that gets narrower as you go further in. There are gauge markings of 15, 16 and 17 on both sides of the slit but they're not in white so they don't jump out at you. So you just slide a piece of the string into this slit and the smaller the string, the further it goes in to the higher number gauge.

Bingo!!!!!

drummerdan
12-10-2009, 01:57 PM
UPDATE:

6 days after stringing, my measurments showed that there was no tension loss from the last measurement (see above). However, while measuring, using the stringmeter, the string broke. The string location is the middle main, 4th string from the edge. So it was very close to the hitting zone, but not directly in it. I wonder if the string was compromised by doing so much tension testing? This was the 78th time overall that I had measured so I have twisted these strings quite a bit (remember, I took 9 individual tension measurements over the face, averaging it each time). Examining the string after it broke showed that there was only minor notching (in any area) and I would think that I would have gotten several more hours of play.

I have one more set of this string and will string it and use it with no measurements. This time, it will be for playability tests only.

Comments?

diredesire
12-10-2009, 02:29 PM
I think you got confused what drummerdan is talking about with the 2 metal stick where you put the string in between to twist. That's not it. It's the pointy piece of plastic that points north as you look at the face of the Stringmeter where all the number markings are shown. There's a slit in this pointy piece of plastic that gets narrower as you go further in. There are gauge markings of 15, 16 and 17 on both sides of the slit but they're not in white so they don't jump out at you. So you just slide a piece of the string into this slit and the smaller the string, the further it goes in to the higher number gauge.
Ah, got it. I must have never looked close at the "prongs."

As far as your breakage, dd, interesting that it broke. Did you feel it weakening, or was it a random pop? I've had some breakage issues with my Global gut on the mains, but I honestly don't know how old these sets are.

r2473
12-10-2009, 02:37 PM
I have an Alpha Axis stringer. I have never strung gut before. I was thinking of trying this in a hybrid with BB ALU rough. I normally use Prince Syn Gut in the hybrid. I string the BB in the mains and the gut in the crosses.

1) What do I need to know about stringing gut vs. stringing syn gut?

2) How do I "pre-stretch" gut?

Thanks for any help and thanks for the write-up on the Gaucho!!

drummerdan
12-10-2009, 02:42 PM
Ah, got it. I must have never looked close at the "prongs."

As far as your breakage, dd, interesting that it broke. Did you feel it weakening, or was it a random pop? I've had some breakage issues with my Global gut on the mains, but I honestly don't know how old these sets are.

I think it was pretty random. I examined the strings pretty closely every time before testing and I didn't see anything out of the oridinary. I did, however, measure the exact same string location every time so it did stress the same area each time.

I imagine that it's very difficult (if not impossible) to know the age of any string by examining it. I wish there was a manufactured date on them to ensure "freshness". I also don't know how the age of the gut affects the playability and durability. Hmmm...anyone?

meowmix
12-10-2009, 02:48 PM
I have an Alpha Axis stringer. I have never strung gut before. I was thinking of trying this in a hybrid with BB ALU rough. I normally use Prince Syn Gut in the hybrid. I string the BB in the mains and the gut in the crosses.

1) What do I need to know about stringing gut vs. stringing syn gut?

2) How do I "pre-stretch" gut?

Thanks for any help and thanks for the write-up on the Gaucho!!

1. Gut is a string that needs to be handled with extreme care. When stringing, make certain you don't bend or kink the string. Do not be rough with the string, and when stringing, make sure your clamps are well adjusted.

2. Prestretch gut just like you would any other string. If you don't have somebody helping you, loop your string around a pole, and pull on the string lightly for 3 seconds, then stop pulling. Repeat as necessary.

drummerdan
12-10-2009, 02:49 PM
I have an Alpha Axis stringer. I have never strung gut before. I was thinking of trying this in a hybrid with BB ALU rough. I normally use Prince Syn Gut in the hybrid. I string the BB in the mains and the gut in the crosses.

1) What do I need to know about stringing gut vs. stringing syn gut?

2) How do I "pre-stretch" gut?

Thanks for any help and thanks for the write-up on the Gaucho!!

Basically, treat gut carefully. Don't let it kink or unwind and make sure not to let it notch when pulling crosses - this is true for any strings, actually, but it's especially true for gut.

Stretching gut it easy. Here's a video by Yulitle that explains it all - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=praasXlb0Ls

r2473
12-10-2009, 03:03 PM
Thanks guys.

Maybe I'll try a pack of Gaucho against the Prince Syn Gut to see if it is worth the extra $$$$$$.

Rabbit
12-10-2009, 03:18 PM
great thread, drummerdan....

based on what I read about Gaucho and Global, and my experience with it before, I think I'll spend my money on Pacific...

TW sent me some Global several years ago to playtest. It was a biatch to string and while it felt good for a 1 hour hit, it broke in my bag overnight...

volusiano
12-10-2009, 10:36 PM
UPDATE:

6 days after stringing, my measurments showed that there was no tension loss from the last measurement (see above). However, while measuring, using the stringmeter, the string broke. The string location is the middle main, 4th string from the edge. So it was very close to the hitting zone, but not directly in it. I wonder if the string was compromised by doing so much tension testing? This was the 78th time overall that I had measured so I have twisted these strings quite a bit (remember, I took 9 individual tension measurements over the face, averaging it each time). Examining the string after it broke showed that there was only minor notching (in any area) and I would think that I would have gotten several more hours of play.

I have one more set of this string and will string it and use it with no measurements. This time, it will be for playability tests only.

Comments?

I have a Stringmeter but I cringe every time I use it on my strings because of how much stress it puts on the string by twisting it to get the tension readings. For something as fragil as the Gaucho or Global gut where there have been frequent reports of string breakage in the middle of stringing or even while in the bag, I'd definitely try to avoid using the Stringmeter on it. If you want to track tension reading on these guts, it may be worth the investment to get an ERT300 (or the cheaper Eagnas version) to avoid stressing out the string after being so careful with stringing it in the first place.

gameboy
12-12-2009, 03:21 PM
I just got a brand new Gamma X-2 stringer so that I can string Gauchos myself.

I put Gamma Synthetic (came with the machine) on the crosses since I was nervous about the crosses with this being my first try ever.

It went off without a hitch (other my bloody fingers due to crap Gamma clamps!) and I strung up my wife's two racquets with Gaucho naturals. I was careful to pre-stretch 3 times. I was very pleasantly surprised how relatively easy it was after hearing all the horror stories.

One day later, they are still holding just fine. Not too bad for my first string job ever.

drummerdan
12-12-2009, 07:19 PM
I just got a brand new Gamma X-2 stringer so that I can string Gauchos myself.

I put Gamma Synthetic (came with the machine) on the crosses since I was nervous about the crosses with this being my first try ever.

It went off without a hitch (other my bloody fingers due to crap Gamma clamps!) and I strung up my wife's two racquets with Gaucho naturals. I was careful to pre-stretch 3 times. I was very pleasantly surprised how relatively easy it was after hearing all the horror stories.

One day later, they are still holding just fine. Not too bad for my first string job ever.

Congrats on your first string job. Wow! You picked a tough one to choose for your first one. I found that Gaucho Gut to be one of the most difficult strings to string up. As I mentioned earlier, it fought me on the crosses most of the way. Still, I think it may have a place in my string collection. I'm not sure if I would put it in a customers racquet, though. More testing to come!

gameboy
12-21-2009, 12:52 AM
I just strung my daughter's racquet with a full Gaucho setup. I figured since I was going to string it at a pretty low tension (52lb), this would be a good a time as any to try a full Gaucho job.

Marosmith's olive oil tip worked like a charm! Crosses went it pretty smooth. I didn't have to fight it much. She just took her lessons with it and it is looking pretty good.

That is my third Gaucho job and so far so good (with no early breakage). I got another 6 sets coming and I plan to string my own racquets as soon as my current strings break. I must say I am really enjoying stringing my own racquet.

gameboy
12-21-2009, 08:55 PM
Well, my luck finally ran out as I popped a main as I was stringing today. Funny thing is, it wasn't even a Gaucho, I was trying to string Pacific Classic NG.

I definitely have some blame as this was my first one piece string job and handling all that string was difficult and i end up kinking some string while trying to pre-stretch it. Luckily, I was able to salvage enough to redo a main and do a hybrid job with a synthetic, but definitely disappointed as I thought Pacific would be easier to string.

Waiting for my new 6 sets of Gaucho to get here...

drummerdan
01-18-2010, 04:10 PM
Update:

I strung up a new set of Gaucho Gut today (16 ga, natural) - full job. After taking advice of someone here on the board to use wax, I waxed the main strings and the whole process of stringing went very smoothly. This was not like the last time, without waxing, when I struggled to pull the cross strings. The wax seemed to do the trick. However, I now have wax flakes on the base of the stringer. Not a big deal, well worth it.

After stringing it up, I went out for a hit for about two hours and the strings held beautifully. It appears that the natural color strings do the best as I have seen problems mostly with the colored strings. I'm not ready to advertise these for my customers, but I think I will continue to use them in my own racquets. Perhaps, I'll try the 17 gauge next. Ahhhh...there's just nothing like the feel of natural gut - even cheap gut.

jim e
01-18-2010, 06:07 PM
Well, my luck finally ran out as I popped a main as I was stringing today. Funny thing is, it wasn't even a Gaucho, I was trying to string Pacific Classic NG.

I definitely have some blame as this was my first one piece string job and handling all that string was difficult and i end up kinking some string while trying to pre-stretch it. Luckily, I was able to salvage enough to redo a main and do a hybrid job with a synthetic, but definitely disappointed as I thought Pacific would be easier to string.

Waiting for my new 6 sets of Gaucho to get here...

If you kinked the string, that would effect the outcome of any gut string no matter what the make. That is why many here have previously posted that it takes a little more time being careful with any nat. gut string.
Next time make it a little easier on yourself and string it a two piece job.

JoelDali
01-18-2010, 06:29 PM
I just got an email from Gaucho Gut that it has been discontinued until May 2010.

Ugh.