Back-up Quest: Finding a back-up for gut-poly hybrids

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Smasher08, May 7, 2012.

  1. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The 6
    Hi everyone

    I thought I'd start a new thread here to share my search for a back-up setup to use in damp/wet conditions. I found out the hard way last September that gut mains sure don't like little puddles, and let's face it, inclement weather happens.

    I've already tried a few combinations: full-bed syngut, multi-poly, syngut-poly, with. For the ease of responding, I'll do one post per hybrid.

    The overall goal is to find a setup that, while keeping in mind that nothing will play the same as gut-poly, can reasonably approximate its performance for any short to medium periods of time when my main sticks can't be used. I don't expect to find a substitute for gut-poly, just something that can I can get by with in its place.

    Feel free to share your thoughts, views, suggestions, and experiences.

    Gosen OGSM 1.22 x MSV Co-Focus 1.18

    I had high hopes for this setup. I'd seen review after review extolling the virtues of this low-cost, high-performing syngut. Stringing it up wasn't difficult at all, no real issues with coil memory or kinking. Strung at 52 x 48 lbs.

    But personally I found it a bit disappointing.

    To me it played like it was strung 3-4 pounds tighter than it was strung, the feel of it was ok but not great, and although there was no string movement with the mains, there really didn't seem to be that much spin.

    I know Jim Courier likes his OSGM 16g crossed with Lux, but for me this combination just didn't work out.

    Overall impression: meh
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
    #1
  2. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The 6
    Gamma Syngut 1.30 full-bed

    Full-disclosure: a set of this came with my Gamma stringer, so it was more of a practice set than anything else. Strung at 52 x 48 lbs.

    I was pleasantly surprised. It's a crisp syngut that had a decent amount of spin. The tension may have been a bit on the low side but I didn't find too much trampolining. Not sure how it would play as the mains in a hybrid with CoF, but on its own I liked it. Great value for money.

    Overall impression: may be worth a look
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
    #2
  3. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The 6
    Head RIP Control 1.20 x MSV Co-Focus 1.18

    Head Intellitour 17g was my go-to string for about 8 years, and RIP 17g was my silver medallist. IMO they're definitely the spinniest multis out there with poly-like spin and multi-like arm-friendliness.

    Would RIP go with CoF to make a nice, spinny backup?

    It played like it was strung a few pounds tighter, and the spin definitely didn't disappoint. There was virtually no string movement, and it performed consistently well on pretty much everything: serves, volleys, groundies, droppers.

    But -- and there is a but here -- it felt a little too dead and a little too stiff for me. It's entirely possible that stringing it a few pounds looser might make a big difference, but it played like more of a backup for a Focus Hex x Syngut hybrid than a guy-poly.

    Overall impression: not bad, but not fantastic
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
    #3
  4. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    Florida
    Interesting. I am going to try gut/poly at some point and also multi/poly for backup. I don't want to try anything yet with poly in the mains because of my arm. In the meantime, both my racquets are strung with full bed Prince Premier Attack 16, which means it could be a while before I get to those tests because PPA is a durable string.

    I tried PSGD/Focus Hex and RIP Control/Focus Hex in the past. Both my synthetics were 16 gauge, and Focus Hex was 1.18mm. I liked both of them, but they didn't last very long because of the way Focus Hex saws into the mains. Co-Focus would have probably been a better choice. PSGD/Focus Hex had more dwell time and better feel but the mains moved too much and it only lasted 5 hours. RIP Control/Focus Hex played stiffer and didn't play quite as well but was close, and it gave me 8 hours.

    I'm hoping PPA will be a good multi to use as a main. To me, it's more gut-like than most multis because of its dwell time and resilience. It also resists fraying and is about as durable as RIP Control. I have some SPP Hextreme I haven't used yet, but I'm afraid to use it because it's textured. Maybe I'll try Co-Focus, SPPP, or Iontec. For my gut setup, I think I'll try the Mamba gut first. For $15, I can't pass it up.
     
    #4
  5. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    香格里拉
    I was trying random hybrids quite a while ago and one of them was Pro supex max touch classic/ALU power. Now looking back the setup is certainly worth a revisit playability wise if I'm looking for a gut/poly backup. But the durability must not be very good - I saw notching in the mains after 1 hour of play, and I'm usually not a string breaker.
     
    #5
  6. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The 6
    [​IMG]

    IsoSpeed Energetic 1.20 x MSV Co-Focus 1.18

    I first bought Energetic thinking it would probably be Iso's closest offering to RIP Control / Intellitour. Since Iso makes RIP and this string had polyolefin and ribbons, it sure sounded like it might be virtually identical.

    It sure wasn't. Especially when crossed with CoF.

    I was very pleasantly surprised.

    I can't say I definitely know how it will play full-bed but I really, really like it in this setup. So far (and admittedly it's not like I've tested dozens of alternative 'brids) it is without a doubt the closest playing string I've found to natty gut. It's definitely not identical, but I think it's close enough to live with.

    In a nutshell, it offers similar pocketing, spin, and performance at the same tension as gut. In fact, having strung my two other i.Prestige mids up with several combinations of synguts and polys, this is the backup stick I keep coming back to.

    I've probably logged in nearly 3 hours on it already.

    There is one caveat here: it was the second or third stringjob I did on my X-6, and I miswove a few of the crosses a little south of the sweetspot. It causes the crosses to move (though not really the mains) and it's certainly possible that some of the spin I've experienced has been caused by this.

    Nonetheless, I find it's just very consistent, nice-feeling and predictable coming from gut-poly. It's arm-friendly, has good touch and feel, similar power to gut, no string movement, and doesn't seem to have notched or frayed yet. Seems to do everything you'd want it to do in more or less the way you'd want it to do it. And for the price, I sure can't complain.

    Overall impression: well worth a try
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
    #6
  7. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The 6
    Has anyone else tried any of these combinations?
     
    #7
  8. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,199
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Im going to bump this as I am considering trying red alert mains with pros pro blackout crosses when I get my backup racquet in.

    My main stick has pacific classic and cofocus crosses.
     
    #8
  9. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Cambridge UK
    Also looking for a reliable gut/poly back up due to (A) cost, and (B) the fact that it hasn't stopped raining here in the UK since they announced a hose-pipe ban 6 weeks ago!

    Thing multi/poly will probably be my best option. I have Maxim Touch (original) PP Clay court+, PP Hi-Tec multi and RIP Control. Going to keep co-focus as the cross I think unless someone can suggest a poly which might retain tension for longer?

    Any thoughts?
     
    #9
  10. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,199
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I am going to use cofocus as well. Trying to decide if Babolat NVY could be a good main. I know it sucks in a full job, but it may work in this setup...anyone do this?
     
    #10
  11. lynnbart

    lynnbart Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    How about NRG2 and a poly cross ? It plays nice.

    I've got PSGD cross with Tourna Big Hitter Silver in mine right now........not good. Going to try Iontec Black crossed with PSGD next.
     
    #11
  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    Florida
    I think my main setup will probably be full gut because gut/poly is risky for my arm once the poly dies. My backup is going to be full multi. It doesn't get destroyed by moisture, and it doesn't die like poly. So far, I like Kirschbaum Touch Multifibre 16. It seems to play closest to gut among the multis I tried. It's crisp with good dwell time. It has good spin, too, if you let it settle for at least 2-3 days before you play with it. I might even use it for practice and save gut for tournaments.
     
    #12
  13. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,498
    I used NRG2 16G/SigPro Tornado 17G to backup Gut Tonic+ 16G/SigPro Tornado 17G for awhile and thought it was a pretty decent backup. NRG2 has gotten 2 expensive now and I rarely use gut anymore either.

    I have been using Volkl Syn Gut 16g or Volkl Power Fibre II 16G mains with SigPro Tornado 17G or SigPro Hyperion 17G crosses lately.

    I see you didn't like the Gosen/poly setup but I am liking my volkl syn gut/signum pro setup. The syn gut mains are a bit crisper than the multi mains.
     
    #13
  14. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    Smasher have u played with yonex poly tour pro, or anyone else, if so how does it play
     
    #14
  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,809
    Location:
    Central Florida

    A guy on the boards here plays down at my club. He had it in his Exo Tour today. I bounced a few balls off it and it felt very soft at 45 pounds in that plush stick. Maybe he'll jump in and comment on it.
     
    #15
  16. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    ^
    just read x factor review about it, would like more info about it though
     
    #16
  17. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,199
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    What would you guys do :

    Red Alert in a full job or Red Alert/Cofocus cross?

    I will be doing one of these.
     
    #17
  18. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,295
    Smasher08, Have you tried full bed poly as backup?

    I'd also try syngut/poly. So for 53/49 gut poly hybrid what syngut/poly tension produces the same power and spin?
     
    #18
  19. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,268
    Yeah, I'm in the same boat. Need a back up plan for rainy days. I have high hopes for Volk syngut, the digits on that stuff puts it right on my radar, low stiffness, low COF. Have not tried it yet. A full bed of Black Widow 17L is my current back up, I'm happy with it, but its a pretty noticeable change. I'd like something that is a more seamless transition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
    #19
  20. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,276
    I am looking for the same thing. In the summer we play the first court time of the clay courts. The net and fence are still wet from the watering. We also typically play through mild rain.

    From the long Ashaway mono gut ZX thread it seems the ZX/poly combo should have some promise. I just have not got around trying it yet.
     
    #20
  21. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    The 6
    Full-bed poly? No way, not for me. I blew out my shoulder using TurboTwist x Unique Irradiated a little over two years ago. Never again!!

    I've had good results with OGSM 17 x CoF 1.18 at about 4 lbs under my usual gut-poly combintion. But it still plays a bit too stiff for my liking -- a bit too different for changing from gut-poly on the fly.

    I've had better results with IsoSpeed Energetic 17 x CoF at about 2 lbs under gut-poly tension. I really liked it the first couple of times, then thought it was so-so, only to go back to it later and decide it was grand. Energetic is very similar to Rip Control (Iso manufactures Rip for Head) and thus far it is the spinniest alternative I've found, but although lively, lacks some of the gut feel. I'm still thinking this is probably the best of the backups when all things are considered.

    The other combination I've enjoyed is Prince Premier Attack 17 x CoF. At first I thought this was the perfect alternative, but the jury is still out on the durability. I put PPA 16 x CoF 1.23 in a friend's PS85 and I'm not sure how long it will last him. Granted, he was a former All Canadian Tennis Academy junior who's just getting back into the game, and he still has 5.5 quality strokes complete with tons of pace and spin -- so he reasonably ought to be expected to burn through stringjobs. But even after 6 or 7 hours I thought I saw some notching on his mains, so the jury's still out. In my setup, I don't think I've even logged an hour on it, but I was very, very happy with the feel and spin. So I'll guess we'll have to wait and see. At some point over the next few weeks I'll do a formal review for it.

    But realistically, all three of these combinations are good enough. If I could get 30+ hours out of PPAxCoF I might recommend people to use it full-time rather than gut. It certainly seems more than good enough for sporadic/occasional use.

    Getting back to your original question re syngut-poly, I'd suggest dropping the mains 4 lbs lower than your usual gut mains tension, and maintaining your usual tension difference between mains and crosses (ie going to 49x45). Syngut mains will probably give you 80-85% of the spin of gut, and 70% of the feel. You'll also have to adjust your strings every game or so, but considering the price point imo it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
    #21
  22. The Big Kahuna

    The Big Kahuna Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    Southern California
    As you know, I have been a long time fan of the classic Smasher hybrid (Pacific Gut 17 w/ MSV Co-Focus 18), however - recently - I am really finding that I enjoy a full bed of Yonex YTP 120 at 55 lbs as an alternative - in fact, what was my rainy day back-up racquet is not my string of choice at this time. I am amazed by the Yonex PTP 120 - it has great control, feel, and playability (like a gut poly hybrid) but generates spin like a full poly set-up. You almost think you are playing with a multi set-up - but it hold tension amazingly well. Very impressed with Yonex Pro Tour Poly 120!
     
    #22
  23. The Big Kahuna

    The Big Kahuna Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    Southern California
    p.s. six months now and no hint of arm issues. The Yonex PTP 120 really is a very soft and comfortable poly.
     
    #23
  24. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,295
    before my co-focus arrives i actually strung some global gut/yptp120. freshly strung it is amazing. a few hours later still pretty good.
     
    #24

Share This Page