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View Full Version : New Black VS16 w/BT7 Technology...Not Impressed


TimothyO
03-31-2011, 07:54 PM
Tried the new black VS16 which includes Babolat's new "BT7" technology. Looks very nice! I wasn't aware of what BT7 entails but after my disappointing hitting experience I decided to look it up.

BT7 is intended to make VS more durable. One way this is achieved is by changing how the string is built up in layers (fewer?). Another way is by applying a special coating, perhaps a mod to the original Thermagut coating.

Anyway, the black VS feels stiffer than non-BT7 VS and has less of that "pocketing" feel. It sort of felt like some Pacific gut that I tried and didn't like. Perhaps the stiffer, more board-like feeling is the price to be paid for a more durable gut but I don't think it's worth the price. The surface also feels more rubbery or "sticky" compared to the old VS. You can test this yourself "blind"...close your eyes and mix two samples of black and original VS...even my 10-year old could tell them apart by feel alone! The result was greater challenge when hitting with spin (you can hear how the black VS resists sliding over poly crosses when you squeeze two VS mains together...they make an initial squeaky noise...original VS just moves silently and smoothly over the poly crosses.)

At this point it seems that the new black VS has the same playing characteristics of other, less expensive gut products but at a higher cost. Why pay $42 US for a playing experience available for a lower cost with competing products? Maybe Babolat is hoping the black color will attract buyers but for those interested in classic VS feel I'd pass on this one.

I've read that some folks thought Thermagut "ruined" the feel of Babolat gut. That was before my time playing tennis and I thought they must be crazy. I admit I was wrong and now realize that one can detect changes caused by new coatings/manufacturing processes.

I just hope original, non-BT7 VS remains available. If not, at least I can save some money by using less expensive competing products! But I would miss that classic VS feel (even with the Thermagut coating!) :)

scotus
03-31-2011, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the review.

Maybe I shouldn't trade away my Thermogut VS sets.

parasailing
04-01-2011, 09:55 AM
That's not a good sign. I was hoping BT7 would not feel like Pacific. I recently tried Pacific Tough Gut and looks to be quite durable but at the expensive of a nice soft feel that VS has.

I guess I better stock up on the old stuff before they stop making it or hope that they continue to carry both though I doubt it since it would confuse the heck of their customers.

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 11:08 AM
Talked to a teaching pro this morning who described a similar experience with VS black. Before telling him my opinion I asked for his. Same thing: different surface texture, stiffer, less feel.

Based on his many years of experience he said that he had expected something along those lines when a Babolat rep told him about BT7, so he may have been biased. But I trust his judgement and his experience mirrored mine.

Is it a huge problem? Yes and no. It's still gut but it's not Babolat VS16.

Just picked up my PSLGT...back to my VS16 natural mains! :)

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 11:10 AM
That's not a good sign. I was hoping BT7 would not feel like Pacific. I recently tried Pacific Tough Gut and looks to be quite durable but at the expensive of a nice soft feel that VS has.

I guess I better stock up on the old stuff before they stop making it or hope that they continue to carry both though I doubt it since it would confuse the heck of their customers.

I had tried the Pacific based on a low friction hybrid included in TW's experiments. Abandoned it when I realized how much stiffer it played than VS and how much less feel it had. As I hit with the VS black the only thing I could think was, "Hey, this is Pacific gut!" :-?

Tennis_Crazed
04-01-2011, 11:16 AM
Tried the new black VS16 which includes Babolat's new "BT7" technology. Looks very nice! I wasn't aware of what BT7 entails but after my disappointing hitting experience I decided to look it up.

BT7 is intended to make VS more durable. One way this is achieved is by changing how the string is built up in layers (fewer?). Another way is by applying a special coating, perhaps a mod to the original Thermagut coating.

Anyway, the black VS feels stiffer than non-BT7 VS and has less of that "pocketing" feel. It sort of felt like some Pacific gut that I tried and didn't like. Perhaps the stiffer, more board-like feeling is the price to be paid for a more durable gut but I don't think it's worth the price. The surface also feels more rubbery or "sticky" compared to the old VS. You can test this yourself "blind"...close your eyes and mix two samples of black and original VS...even my 10-year old could tell them apart by feel alone! The result was greater challenge when hitting with spin (you can hear how the black VS resists sliding over poly crosses when you squeeze two VS mains together...they make an initial squeaky noise...original VS just moves silently and smoothly over the poly crosses.)

At this point it seems that the new black VS has the same playing characteristics of other, less expensive gut products but at a higher cost. Why pay $42 US for a playing experience available for a lower cost with competing products? Maybe Babolat is hoping the black color will attract buyers but for those interested in classic VS feel I'd pass on this one.

I've read that some folks thought Thermagut "ruined" the feel of Babolat gut. That was before my time playing tennis and I thought they must be crazy. I admit I was wrong and now realize that one can detect changes caused by new coatings/manufacturing processes.

I just hope original, non-BT7 VS remains available. If not, at least I can save some money by using less expensive competing products! But I would miss that classic VS feel (even with the Thermagut coating!) :)

Timmmy - curious about the durability aspect - please let us know what you think about the durability of it relative to VS... Wonder how this will play in a hybrid. You might see it possibly outliving the poly in at thicker gauge .

Als0 - when it starts to fray, can you see the normal color on the inside or is it dyed through and through?

Thank for the review

DavidNERODease
04-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Everytime I try a string (any type) that seems to stick to itself I'm very disappointed. I was hoping for the exact opposite characteristic from the new black gut... I wonder if the new Klip black gut has the same change in coating?

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 11:31 AM
Timmmy - curious about the durability aspect - please let us know what you think about the durability of it relative to VS... Wonder how this will play in a hybrid. You might see it possibly outliving the poly in at thicker gauge .

Als0 - when it starts to fray, can you see the normal color on the inside or is it dyed through and through?

Thank for the review

I'm afraid I can't help with the durability issue as I had it taken out after nearly four hours of playing with it. I just couldn't stand it.

But you must have a lot of string experience because you nailed the color change!!!

After stringing the VS black looks sort of translucent black, never totally solid. Over two hitting sessions, each about 1.5 to 2 hours, the translucent effect became more pronounced. There were also increasingly visible gray/white striations. It never turned totally gray/white or clear, but it certainly lightened with play. Still black and absolutely beautiful with the black RPM in the PSLGT, but definitely more translucent too.

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 11:33 AM
Everytime I try a string (any type) that seems to stick to itself I'm very disappointed. I was hoping for the exact opposite characteristic from the new black gut... I wonder if the new Klip black gut has the same change in coating?

The stickiness wasn't extreme, nothing like a multi, so I hope I didn't overstate that.

But I've become so accustomed to VS + Hurricane Feel's completely smooth interaction the sound was noticeable. I just picked up the PSLGT and sure enough, the VS natural feels smooth and almost dry compared to the VS black, not rubbery at all. There is DEFINITELY a difference in texture.

Tennis_Crazed
04-01-2011, 11:36 AM
I'm afraid I can't help with the durability issue as I had it taken out after nearly four hours of playing with it. I just couldn't stand it.

But you must have a lot of string experience because you nailed the color change!!!

After stringing the VS black looks sort of translucent black, never totally solid. Over two hitting sessions, each about 1.5 to 2 hours, the translucent effect became more pronounced. There were also increasingly visible gray/white striations. It never turned totally gray/white or clear, but it certainly lightened with play. Still black and absolutely beautiful with the black RPM in the PSLGT, but definitely more translucent too.

Thanks Tim...thats interesting. Wonder how the color was dyed into it. HAven't researched this string that much.

You must be a very well tempered person, because if i paid for a set of VS and had to cut it out, i'd be pretty furious!

Boricua
04-01-2011, 12:00 PM
Tried the new black VS16 which includes Babolat's new "BT7" technology. Looks very nice! I wasn't aware of what BT7 entails but after my disappointing hitting experience I decided to look it up.

BT7 is intended to make VS more durable. One way this is achieved is by changing how the string is built up in layers (fewer?). Another way is by applying a special coating, perhaps a mod to the original Thermagut coating.

Anyway, the black VS feels stiffer than non-BT7 VS and has less of that "pocketing" feel. It sort of felt like some Pacific gut that I tried and didn't like. Perhaps the stiffer, more board-like feeling is the price to be paid for a more durable gut but I don't think it's worth the price. The surface also feels more rubbery or "sticky" compared to the old VS. You can test this yourself "blind"...close your eyes and mix two samples of black and original VS...even my 10-year old could tell them apart by feel alone! The result was greater challenge when hitting with spin (you can hear how the black VS resists sliding over poly crosses when you squeeze two VS mains together...they make an initial squeaky noise...original VS just moves silently and smoothly over the poly crosses.)

At this point it seems that the new black VS has the same playing characteristics of other, less expensive gut products but at a higher cost. Why pay $42 US for a playing experience available for a lower cost with competing products? Maybe Babolat is hoping the black color will attract buyers but for those interested in classic VS feel I'd pass on this one.

I've read that some folks thought Thermagut "ruined" the feel of Babolat gut. That was before my time playing tennis and I thought they must be crazy. I admit I was wrong and now realize that one can detect changes caused by new coatings/manufacturing processes.

I just hope original, non-BT7 VS remains available. If not, at least I can save some money by using less expensive competing products! But I would miss that classic VS feel (even with the Thermagut coating!) :)

Would you use it as a cross to soften RPM blast mains?:)

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 01:33 PM
Would you use it as a cross to soften RPM blast mains?:)

Not sure why one would do that, but I suppose it would work. I'd rather use VS natural mains and RPM crosses (which I have done and it worked well...later I discovered Hurricane Feel and prefer that now).

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 01:34 PM
Thanks Tim...thats interesting. Wonder how the color was dyed into it. HAven't researched this string that much.

You must be a very well tempered person, because if i paid for a set of VS and had to cut it out, i'd be pretty furious!

Live and learn. :-(

At least it was only a half-set from the VS Black/RPM hybrid package.

Boricua
04-01-2011, 01:37 PM
Tried the new black VS16 which includes Babolat's new "BT7" technology. Looks very nice! I wasn't aware of what BT7 entails but after my disappointing hitting experience I decided to look it up.

BT7 is intended to make VS more durable. One way this is achieved is by changing how the string is built up in layers (fewer?). Another way is by applying a special coating, perhaps a mod to the original Thermagut coating.

Anyway, the black VS feels stiffer than non-BT7 VS and has less of that "pocketing" feel. It sort of felt like some Pacific gut that I tried and didn't like. Perhaps the stiffer, more board-like feeling is the price to be paid for a more durable gut but I don't think it's worth the price. The surface also feels more rubbery or "sticky" compared to the old VS. You can test this yourself "blind"...close your eyes and mix two samples of black and original VS...even my 10-year old could tell them apart by feel alone! The result was greater challenge when hitting with spin (you can hear how the black VS resists sliding over poly crosses when you squeeze two VS mains together...they make an initial squeaky noise...original VS just moves silently and smoothly over the poly crosses.)

At this point it seems that the new black VS has the same playing characteristics of other, less expensive gut products but at a higher cost. Why pay $42 US for a playing experience available for a lower cost with competing products? Maybe Babolat is hoping the black color will attract buyers but for those interested in classic VS feel I'd pass on this one.

I've read that some folks thought Thermagut "ruined" the feel of Babolat gut. That was before my time playing tennis and I thought they must be crazy. I admit I was wrong and now realize that one can detect changes caused by new coatings/manufacturing processes.

I just hope original, non-BT7 VS remains available. If not, at least I can save some money by using less expensive competing products! But I would miss that classic VS feel (even with the Thermagut coating!) :)

I just received a set, return it is your advice I guess? What a shame, it seems we never get what we expect or want totally from a string.:)

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 01:47 PM
I just received a set, return it is your advice I guess? What a shame, it seems we never get what we expect or want totally from a string.:)

Maybe not. Depends on your objectives and priorities.

For me, low friction, feel, and high comfort are TOP priorities. I felt that VS black was too sticky and too stiff compared to my VS-natural experience. I missed the "catch and release" feel of VS natural.

If friction and comfort were not such high priorities for me then I would definitely use it since it does look GREAT, especially with RPM blast.

I just like to squeeze every last possible ounce of comfort and low-friction from a setup and this just didn't cut it. Otherwise I would keep it.

TennezSport
04-01-2011, 03:30 PM
Tim, thanks for the review of the Bab BT7. This is exactly what we expected when the Bab rep told us how they were changing the fiber numbers and bonding. Anytime you increase the thickness of the individual bonds to improve durability, you definately impact feel and playability. Sounds like they also added a thickening agent to the coating along with the color which will also impact performance. Just looks at Tecs X1BP nat vs. X1BP Red for another example.

However, this may be a good thing for players who say that Bab VS is too mushy and don't want to go to another NG string. Now you can buy the original or the Blk; to each their own :wink: We will be testing it here soon and let you know how it works out, thanks again.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

TimothyO
04-01-2011, 05:43 PM
Tennez, those are very good points about those who feel differently about natural VS. Where I see plush vs stiff they may see mushy vs crisp.

On the spin issue this evening I hit with my PSLGT using my standard VS mains and couldn't be happier. Even with 18 mains I could generate crazy spin but felt like I had more control thAn with my usual 16 mains on other frames. I was pulling off touch shots I Had been struggling with. I had tried some other frames with a denser pattern and found them too hard on my arm or not spin-friendly. PSLGT + VS/Hurricane = my perfect racquet. :)

Had it strung: VS/Hurricane @ 49/45.5

Boricua
04-01-2011, 08:07 PM
Maybe not. Depends on your objectives and priorities.

For me, low friction, feel, and high comfort are TOP priorities. I felt that VS black was too sticky and too stiff compared to my VS-natural experience. I missed the "catch and release" feel of VS natural.

If friction and comfort were not such high priorities for me then I would definitely use it since it does look GREAT, especially with RPM blast.

I just like to squeeze every last possible ounce of comfort and low-friction from a setup and this just didn't cut it. Otherwise I would keep it.

Maybe it could work for me as I am using Revenge mains and Vs crosses, which could be stiff compared to VS Black in the mains.

Right now,I like the Revenge mains, gut crosses in my Yonex VCore 100 which absorbs shock great.

Later on,I think of using Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge in Mains and VS black in crosses and vice versa.I expect feel but also spin and control.

Also, I will try some full set of soft copolys and a few crisp multis like NXT Control and the soft Polystar Energy and Turbo and a few more maybe.

For now, Revenge-gut is winning but Ill give the VS Black a try both as main and cross with a black copoly, just for the look and who knows if I like it.

I agree with you that feel and comfort is priority also, not the same going to the movies in a Mercedes Benz than in a Toyota Truck, both are efficient but the ride is different, the same with strings and their feel.

Thanks for you response.

PS-I dont own a Mercedes, yet...:)

parasailing
04-01-2011, 10:22 PM
Timothy - Have you tried Bow Brand or Pacific Prime Gut? I wonder if VS is the softest of all the gut out there? I find it strange that RSI rates Pacific Tough Gut softer than VS but based on our real world testing, it feels really hard.

kiteboard
04-01-2011, 11:03 PM
It is harder, and that's a fact. NO better test than the human test, with your own hand. $50 pacific tournament gut was not as good as vs.

scotus
04-02-2011, 12:56 AM
Timothy - Have you tried Bow Brand or Pacific Prime Gut? I wonder if VS is the softest of all the gut out there? I find it strange that RSI rates Pacific Tough Gut softer than VS but based on our real world testing, it feels really hard.

That might be because RSI tests each string once and keeps printing the same data year after year.

Not all intestinal linings are created equal, and there are differences in stiffness between 2 sets of gut from the same brand and model.

All that the RSI testing tells me is that one particular set of Pacific Tough Gut happened to be a bit softer than one particular set of VS.

TimothyO
04-02-2011, 03:19 AM
Timothy - Have you tried Bow Brand or Pacific Prime Gut? I wonder if VS is the softest of all the gut out there? I find it strange that RSI rates Pacific Tough Gut softer than VS but based on our real world testing, it feels really hard.

I tried Pacific gut to cut costs and because it had a lower stiffness rating. It definitely played stiffer and lacked that feel of pocketing the ball. VS natural can feel like a lacrosse stick the way it grabs the ball.

I think the stiffness ratings are really just a broad guide. Hurricane Feel and RPM have the same very high stiffness ratings, PHT is a little lower, and Pro Hurricane is lowest of all. But imo Feel plays very soft, as soft as many multis, while RPM plays just a little stiffer and two MRTs told me to avoid Pro Hurricane since it plays like a frying pan (they're ok with PHT which they say plays stiffer than HF but far softer than PH). So in the case of RPM and the entire Hurricane line the numbers are backwards!

arche3
04-02-2011, 11:20 AM
I have two rackets strung right now one with rpm/vs black, other rpm/vs natural. they play the same to me. very little difference. the black is a bit crisper BUT it also has more POP. So its a wash. more or less the same. I play the same with either one. In fact i played a match this morning and I switched between rackets at changeover just to see if it made a difference to me and it does not. Maybe I can string the rpm/vs black combo a bit lower this weekend and see what happens. I want to get more power so maybe the crisper black will allow me to string lower and still feel the same.

TimothyO
04-02-2011, 03:06 PM
I have two rackets strung right now one with rpm/vs black, other rpm/vs natural. they play the same to me. very little difference. the black is a bit crisper BUT it also has more POP. So its a wash. more or less the same. I play the same with either one. In fact i played a match this morning and I switched between rackets at changeover just to see if it made a difference to me and it does not. Maybe I can string the rpm/vs black combo a bit lower this weekend and see what happens. I want to get more power so maybe the crisper black will allow me to string lower and still feel the same.

If you have RPM in the mains on both racquets you're testing RPM, the gut crosses are a minor factor and my not show through the dominate mains.

If you want more power and a crisp feel put the VS black in the mains and RPM in the crosses. I tried that nd it felt stiff to me compred to VS natural...but if you enjoy RPM mins you might like the black VS in the mains.

In any case I envy you! Those strings look sharp together!!! :)

Boricua
04-06-2011, 12:09 PM
Tried the new black VS16 which includes Babolat's new "BT7" technology. Looks very nice! I wasn't aware of what BT7 entails but after my disappointing hitting experience I decided to look it up.

BT7 is intended to make VS more durable. One way this is achieved is by changing how the string is built up in layers (fewer?). Another way is by applying a special coating, perhaps a mod to the original Thermagut coating.

Anyway, the black VS feels stiffer than non-BT7 VS and has less of that "pocketing" feel. It sort of felt like some Pacific gut that I tried and didn't like. Perhaps the stiffer, more board-like feeling is the price to be paid for a more durable gut but I don't think it's worth the price. The surface also feels more rubbery or "sticky" compared to the old VS. You can test this yourself "blind"...close your eyes and mix two samples of black and original VS...even my 10-year old could tell them apart by feel alone! The result was greater challenge when hitting with spin (you can hear how the black VS resists sliding over poly crosses when you squeeze two VS mains together...they make an initial squeaky noise...original VS just moves silently and smoothly over the poly crosses.)

At this point it seems that the new black VS has the same playing characteristics of other, less expensive gut products but at a higher cost. Why pay $42 US for a playing experience available for a lower cost with competing products? Maybe Babolat is hoping the black color will attract buyers but for those interested in classic VS feel I'd pass on this one.

I've read that some folks thought Thermagut "ruined" the feel of Babolat gut. That was before my time playing tennis and I thought they must be crazy. I admit I was wrong and now realize that one can detect changes caused by new coatings/manufacturing processes.

I just hope original, non-BT7 VS remains available. If not, at least I can save some money by using less expensive competing products! But I would miss that classic VS feel (even with the Thermagut coating!) :)

How does VS 16 compare to VS 17 gut, both non-BT7?

Is the 17 much less durable, for instance if I get 10 hours out of the VS 16 before it breaks, how many will I get from the VS 17?:)

Boricua
04-06-2011, 12:15 PM
I played today for the first time with VS 16 Black as a main with Weiss cannon B5E. Yesterday I practiced hitting the wall for 30 minutes just to feel it. The black coating is beginning to fade so I suppose it wont be that nice later on with a zebra type look, half black, half faded.

The feel with VS black mains/ B5E crosses was somewhat better than poly main/VS gut 16 cross. Later on Ill try the regular VS 17 or 16 as a main with B5E cross, compare and post my impression.:)

parasailing
04-06-2011, 06:42 PM
How does VS 16 compare to VS 17 gut, both non-BT7?

Is the 17 much less durable, for instance if I get 10 hours out of the VS 16 before it breaks, how many will I get from the VS 17?:)

VS 16 lasts about 3 hours longer on average than VS Team for me. I still prefer VS Team 17 due to slightly better power, feel, and plushness.

Boricua
04-07-2011, 07:21 AM
VS 16 lasts about 3 hours longer on average than VS Team for me. I still prefer VS Team 17 due to slightly better power, feel, and plushness.

Do you use the VS 17 in a full set or in a hybrid setup?

How many hours do you get before it breaks?

Do you hit flat or with topspin?

:)

parasailing
04-07-2011, 08:24 AM
^^^^

I have tried full set as well as gut mains and poly crosses.

In a full set, it lasts about 7 hours for 17 and 10 for VS 16. In a hybrid setup with poly crosses, 12 hours for 17 and 15 for VS 16. So doing a hybrid does increase the durability for me but the hours is pretty consistent. The gut mains start to fray and become thinner and thinner before they finally snap.

I had classic flat strokes but have slowly change to more modern topspin stroke. As I increase my topspin, I will probably end up with shorter life on these strings that I currently getting.

Boricua
04-07-2011, 08:52 AM
^^^^

I have tried full set as well as gut mains and poly crosses.

In a full set, it lasts about 7 hours for 17 and 10 for VS 16. In a hybrid setup with poly crosses, 12 hours for 17 and 15 for VS 16. So doing a hybrid does increase the durability for me but the hours is pretty consistent. The gut mains start to fray and become thinner and thinner before they finally snap.

I had classic flat strokes but have slowly change to more modern topspin stroke. As I increase my topspin, I will probably end up with shorter life on these strings that I currently getting.

Do you find a big difference in feel and pocket effect between 16 and 17?

The same question (feel and pocket effect) between full set and hybrid?
Thanks.

:)

parasailing
04-07-2011, 08:59 AM
^^

There is a slight difference between VS 16 and 17. For some it might not be worth the decrease durability but it's something you have to try for yourself.

Feel is definitely better with a full set of vs than a hybrid setup but with the poly cross, you gain a bit more spin and control.

Boricua
04-07-2011, 10:18 AM
^^

There is a slight difference between VS 16 and 17. For some it might not be worth the decrease durability but it's something you have to try for yourself.

Feel is definitely better with a full set of vs than a hybrid setup but with the poly cross, you gain a bit more spin and control.

Thank you for your response!:)

Boricua
04-07-2011, 10:28 AM
I wonder how would a full bed of VS black gut would feel? Maybe a midway point between a VS/poly hybrid and a full bed of VS gut?:)

Could be less comfy than full VS but more comfy than VS/ poly:)

Reactions?

Boricua
04-07-2011, 10:30 AM
I wonder how would a full bed of VS black gut would feel? Maybe a midway point between a VS/poly hybrid and a full bed of VS gut?:)

Could be less comfy than full VS but more comfy than VS/ poly:)

Reactions?

And more durable than regular VS gut, good for stringbreakers...:)

TimothyO
04-07-2011, 12:28 PM
I wonder how would a full bed of VS black gut would feel? Maybe a midway point between a VS/poly hybrid and a full bed of VS gut?:)

Could be less comfy than full VS but more comfy than VS/ poly:)

Reactions?


maybe not as extreme as a gut poly hybrid. It feels siff but not that stiff. Maybe closer to a gut/multi hybrid?

rudester
04-09-2011, 01:52 PM
Tried VS Black in mains with Black Magic crosses, I thought it was very nice, had been using VS Team mains with Luxilon Savage Crosses. Strung the VS Black/Black Magic hybrid 2 pounds looser (56/53) and found the feel power and control was quite comparable, still a nice soft feel, plenty of power.

parasailing
04-09-2011, 03:38 PM
Tried VS Black in mains with Black Magic crosses, I thought it was very nice, had been using VS Team mains with Luxilon Savage Crosses. Strung the VS Black/Black Magic hybrid 2 pounds looser (56/53) and found the feel power and control was quite comparable, still a nice soft feel, plenty of power.

Let us know if the durability is better than VS regular. A few posters have mention it being a bit stiffer than the regular VS and that is my biggest concern. I don't like to have to spend a few hours waiting for the string to break in.

rudester
04-09-2011, 03:44 PM
Let us know if the durability is better than VS regular. A few posters have mention it being a bit stiffer than the regular VS and that is my biggest concern. I don't like to have to spend a few hours waiting for the string to break in.

Ok, I only have 2 hours of play on them as of yet. I did string them looser because of the stated stiffness issue, I am not personally convinced that they are a whole lot stiffer, lowered tension only 2 pounds. One thing i did notice was that even at 2 pounds lower tension the strings did seem to move quite a bit more in this hybrid application. Perhaps the stiffness is more pronounced at higher tensions, I normally string full bed gut at 60. The current hybrid with the poly crosses only 56 to 58.