BT7 (Tonic) mains LTec 4S X - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Fredrik, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    Strung up 2 AeroPro GTs w/ this combo. One at 24/22 (kg) and one at 23/21,3kg. Multiply by approx 2,2 for lbs, 24 kg is (almost) 53 lbs.

    Played indoors in coldish conditions w/ old balls (w/ coaches doing drills), a bit of an off day, but the 24kg mains felt boardish and stiff, no bite on the ball and generally dreadful to play with.

    I held off on changing racquets to avoid looking like a poof wannabe, thinking it was me rather than the setup responsible for the major suckage on display. ;-)

    I caved in finally and had a go w/ the 23kg mains, and to my surprise it was miles better.

    I am starting to think that the Babolat BT7 gut is made to play better at lower tensions. I´ve been playing with (old) VS, Tonic and Pacific Tour Gut at similar tensions of late, crossed w/ various poly´s (Alu, Hyperion, RPM Blast) and I have been liking the experience. However, the BT7 formula seems to have thrown my tension preferences for a loop. Either that, or it has turned the Bab gut into rubbish.

    Will try this setup at lower tensions as well and see how it goes.

    The jury is out on the LTec 4S. My first impression is that it is completely underwhelming and does not do a good job as a cross for gut mains, but I will not conclude before I´ve tried lower tensions. At 21,3 it does not seem to allow the 23kg gut to slide and snap back enough, but being a softer poly I think the tension difference is spot on. It is a lot worser wrt snap back in the 24/22 setup.

    F.
     
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  2. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    BT7 has made Babolat gut terrible in my opinion. It doesn't has that elasticity it use to especially noticeable when you prestretch the string. It is just a stiffer gut and feels more like a middle tier gut than a top of the line one.

    As far as Ltec 4S, I like the string a lot offering good amount of power, control, and tension maintenance but only when the temperature is warm not when its 60 degrees F or below where it feels stiff.
     
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  3. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    Parasailing,

    I seem to recall from other threads that you play gut/poly hybrids. Which gut strings do you prefer after BT7?

    As for the 4S, I am hopeful that it will play better with a) lower tensions and b) higher temperatures. Even though the courts I played on yesterday are indoors, the temperature was below 60.

    To get the setup working, I am having to rethink my tensions it seems. For one; the BT7 plays so much stiffer than old Babolat gut that I don´t think the rule of thumb 2kg tension differential between gut M´s and poly X´s applies. If it doesn´t play well at, say 20-22kg, w/ the crosses approx 1kg lower I will have to cross it w/ Alu to see what happens. If it still doesn´t impress I will conclude that it is rubbish.

    I am not amused by this; I bought the strings because I knew what I wanted, not to experiment w/ tensions.
     
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  4. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I hate BT7 as it is way stiffer than original VS and not worth the $46 Babolat is asking for a set. If I had the money when BT7 came out last year, I would have bought out whatever remaining inventory of the old Babolat string. Right now, I only have a few remaining sets of the original VS :(.

    My favorite gut aside from the original VS is Wilson and Prince as they are the two closest ones to the original VS with Wilson being about 95% and Prince 90% of original VS.

    If you have to use BT7, the tension has to be lower by 4lbs plus a few hours of hitting to soften the string up though I don't think it has that elastic feel which you will notice with volleys.

    I agree with you about not wanting to mess with tension but I find most strings are temperature sensitive and require adjustment so spring and summer require a different tension then fall and winter months. Ltec doesn't do well at lower temperatures like most poly unless you are using a really soft poly like Yonex.
     
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  5. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    I noticed the difference on volleys. Let´s say I didn´t have the best day on the court, but it certainly felt off compared to my previous stringjob of Pacific Tour/Alu. I´ve never been a huge fan of Pacific, the strings feel kinda stiff/too crisp. Compared w/ the BT7 Tonic, though, they do have the elasticity that gut strings should have.

    I agree that strings (and balls) are temperature sensitive. I use very different setups in winter and summer. My summer tensions are generally 1-2kg higher than winter, though I am trending towards lower tensions now. (A couple of years ago I was playing full bed poly at 25kg, I don´t think I´ll go near that again).

    Shame I bought 4 sets of BT7 VS and 2 sets of BT7 Tonic. I bought the Tonic mainly to zone in on the tension just in case. That said, I´ve always liked Tonic and I think that thicker strings (125mm and thicker) perform well in 16x19 patterns.

    On an aside: I would not be surprised if the Wilson gut changes w/o notice unless Babolat aborts the BT7 experiment.Interesting to see that you say Wilson gut is 95% VS, I always thought it was just branded VS.

    Oh, and in Europe, the price of the Wilson gut is ridiculous compared with Babolat.Pacific´s line-up is jsut confusing and the top end strings are very pricey.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
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  6. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Yes, you never know when Wilson will switch over to the new BT7 and it is rebranded Babolat string but I think Babolat keep their best to themselves and sold Wilson whatever they deem was slightly less than perfect though I haven't had any issues with Wilson natural gut.

    I bought about 8 sets of the Wilson since I can no longer find the original VS.

    I have tried all variants of Pacific's line of natural gut except the cheapest Classic and find that BT7 is similar to Pacific Prime. I would try a set of Wilson or Prince and see if you like it. Then try to acquire all the sets based on same manufacture date so you can be assure they are the same.
     
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  7. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    One less thing they need to worry about now.. ;-)
     
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  8. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    +1,

    I too settled with 4-5 lbs lower with bt7. I went from 63 lbs to 58 lbs.
    Still not dynamic as original VS. I do not feel its signature ball pocketing.
    Only as good as synthetic multi's. It also deadening quicker than original.
    I baby-oil bt7 frequently to extend it's short playability life.

    I think I have used about 6-7 bt7's until I concluded it's not worth $47.
    I don't feel like Babolat properly warns of BT7 and caused me to waste some money.

    I could get some original VS and Tonic from big auction site. And purchased
    about 10 Wilson Gut before price hike.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
    #8

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