does gut really makes a difference?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by SmAsH999, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. SmAsH999

    SmAsH999 Rookie

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    hi, everyone. well, here's the deal. I'm just starting to get back to my high 5/low 5.5 rating after a month off due to tendinitis in my shoulder...and now...tennis elbow. It' mild, and I'm icing it. When I start playing more again, I plan to demo a k90, but I'm wondering if gut is really as good on the arm as everyone says it is. So, is it? Many thanks.
     
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  2. NickC

    NickC Professional

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    It's not as good as everyone says. It's better.
     
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  3. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Gut is much less stressful on the arm than almost any synthetic. There are some synthetics that are pretty close, but they cost almost as much, and probably won't last as long assuming you take reasonable care of your gut strings.
     
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  4. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    You're rated a 5/5.5 and have never tried natural gut? :roll:
     
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  5. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    i was surprised to read that too
     
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  6. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    You had gotten my blood boiling for about half a second. :)
     
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  7. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    lol me too.
     
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  8. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I use it not only because of the way it plays, but because it has saved my elbow. If you go and string it in the 70's (ala Sampras), it probably won't be the arm-saver you're looking for. And, if you're used to poly's, you might have to make some adjustments to your game, as it will be more powerful. If it is too powerful, you may want a less powerful racket (yes, there are some less powerful than the k90), or God forbid, a larger frame that's more forgiving (like a Radical or Cayman or POG). You do have options. But in general, gut has kept me playing painfree.
     
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  9. lazyeenviet

    lazyeenviet Rookie

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    I'm a 7.5 on TTW and I've never tried gut. All I play with is full Luxilon at 75 lbs on my Big Bubba.
     
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  10. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Lol! How is that working out for you? :)
     
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  11. SmAsH999

    SmAsH999 Rookie

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    well, I'm not quite sure what to do. My parents don't want to pay for gut, and I'm in the market for a new stick. How would a gut/synthetic hybrid work out?
     
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  12. v205

    v205 Semi-Pro

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    Just try the Tecnifibre X1 Biphase and see if you like it. (Closest thing to gut as shown to 2008 string of the year survey). I use it and love it in terms of playability but moves around a lot.

    Or try the Babolat Tonic+ which is cheaper than the VS stuff but gives you a good indication.
     
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  13. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    The next best thing. Make sure to place the gut in the mains, though.
     
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  14. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Hi Smash,

    It would help to know what string set-up (string and tension) and frame (and mods/lead etc) caused "tendinitis in my shoulder...and now...tennis elbow". That would give us a baseline to help us help you, in your quest for pain free tennis. I am guessing since you are young and a 5.5.. you swing hard and fast and hit with topspin?

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    #14
  15. SunDog

    SunDog Rookie

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    I prefer the gut main - synth cross hybrid over the full gut. For me it is not even close.
     
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  16. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Definitely worth it. However, as you mention the cost is substantially more than other choices. While you can go to a hybrid, this may not result in saving $. I use a hybrid (gut mains, poly crosses) and the poly goes dead well before the gut goes bad (except in humid summer months). Bottom line: I end up restringing more frequently than I would with a full gut job.

    Depending on your game and hitting style, you might find it more economical to go with full gut or a hybrid that doesn't use a string that goes dead so quickly.
     
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  17. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    I am with you. I have never thought that a gut hybrid made sense as a way to save $$. For non-string breakers, full gut is less expensive in the long run and offers the best bang for the buck -- by a long shot.

    If stringing a hybrid for another purpose, then your favorite multi that feels like "the next best thing to gut" (at half the cost) makes much more sense.
     
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  18. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    X1 Biphase is not really that close to gut. Ive used them both. I have to string Biphase at 57 and VS/Wilson/Tonic+ at 59 or 60. (and the Gut still has more power/ball pocketing/feel)

    Really nothing is that close to gut. Go with the technical analysis not the personal preference surveys, nothing comes that close in stiffness (lack of) or tension maintence.

    I actually found that a full job of IsoSpeed Pro Classic 17 was closer to gut then NXT or Biphase, and if you check the technical analysis it's the closest in stiffness to the stiffest gut. (at least the closest that you can find anywhere)

    But even saying that, it's not THAT close.
     
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  19. stician

    stician Semi-Pro

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    I'm not sure a K90 weighing in at 360-365g will be easy on your shoulder and elbow. I used K90 for a while and put plenty of different guts in it. I think a frame like the K90 benefits a lot from gut because 1) it balances the relatively low power nature of the frame when you're on a full stretch and 2) gut enlarges the sweet spot significantly in the K90.

    I stopped using the K90 because I was having issues with the labrum tendon in my shoulder and inner elbow that often associated with shoulder injuries. An MRI showed fraying. Once you wear on a tendon it never comes back so I had to do three things 1) strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, 2) ice after every match and 3) switch to a lower weight frame.

    I've found the Pure Storm Limited which still suits my batspeed. At 335g strung with overgrip and small dampener it is 10% less demanding than the K90 and made all the difference in managing pain.

    So yes to answer your question, gut (and I'm biased towards Klip Legend coated) is great but I'm not sure if your decision to use the K90 coming back from injury is the better choice.
     
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  20. SirBlend12

    SirBlend12 Semi-Pro

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    Well, my opinion on gut...

    Say you are having a bad day. You got a grade on a test that was below your expectations, your lady friend breaks up with you, and your car runs out of gas on the freeway 5 minutes from your house.

    To blow off steam, you go out to the courts with a full gut job that's had a few days to settle in. Proceed to hit for 2 or 3 hours with it...

    Your day just became an O.K. day.:)
     
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  21. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Lol! Something like that :)
     
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  22. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    Would Bab VS mains and Blue Gear crosses work? Would it give me more control? Would it just eat through the gut?:)
     
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  23. davidahenry

    davidahenry Professional

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    It would be fairly similar to Federer's setup - he uses Alu Power Rough in the crosses.

    According to popular theory on these boards, it would give you more control. There is a current thread that challenges this theory, but I don't know which is correct.

    I can't speak from experience, but I would guess that the ridges in Blue Gear would tend to saw through the gut a little more than a non-ridged string.

    Take care.

    DH
     
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  24. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    So true.
    I actually tried full gut setup for the first time 2 weeks ago. All i got to say is - OH MY GOD!!!!!!
    No elbow pain after match, no ice on the shoulder...yet :)
    Yes, it is expensive but, if you are not a string breaker, just try it. I am sure you'll love it.
    As for the the feel - feels like nothing i know. SO comfortable, so much power and control at the same time ( hard to believe).
    I am playing with gut for 2 weeks already( 6 hours per week ) and the string still in great shape.
     
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  25. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I'm glad you enjoy the strings. Gut has been gaining back popularity. It is my favorite, and always has been. I strung up 3 all VS gut racquets this week alone, and have 2 more for this weekend, and this is slow time here in north, (winter).Seems once someone uses gut, it is hard to go back to their previous strings.I don't string the great quantity of racquets that I did years ago when I strung back in the 60's. I like to only string a few/week, as my time is limited, so getting 5 VS gut jobs in one week is unusual for me now, as years ago, gut was extremely popular, and I would string a great # of racquets with gut back then.The newer guts are actually easier to string today, with the nice coating , or thermo. technology that VS has.You will find that the string will play nice up to the point where it breaks.
     
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  26. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    If you do not mind me asking, is there something special about stringing gut?
    I had my racquets strung with gut by a pro. But regular strings i string myself. Nothing special - just a simple Gamma X-2 drop weight stringer. But just want to know if there is something extraordinary about stringing a gut before i waste a set of gut trying to string myself.
    Thanks.
     
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  27. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    You should be able to do the job yourself. You just need to be more careful handeling the string. Be careful to watch the string looped, or coiled, as if you pull on a tight coil, you may kink the string, and will effect it.A light pre stretch helps.I always string gut 2 piece, as less handeling as well, and always string gut top down on all racquets, even though others here will tell you it is OK with some manufactures, like Wilson, and Babolat to go the other way, its just with top down stringing the gut is in its best condition at the top # of crosses, as compared to botton few, again due to handeling.And most hit center to top part of stringbed. Also be careful pulling knots, not to overstress pulling the knot to fray it. Also watch the string at end of crosses, and if untwists , you may need to retwist it, but that is only if it is handeled ruff. Give it a go. Hope this helps!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
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  28. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    Thank you very much.
    I will give it a try. What is the worst can happened? I waste a set of gut. :)
     
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  29. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Don't think of that. There is no reason you cannot do a good job. You just need to be careful is all.Do not rush, take your time, and I'm sure it will go fine.
    The 1st racquet I strung was a woodie,all gut, victor imperial, years ago, and the old timer that taught me was right there. It made me feel good that I strung an all gut job, as I new then I could string with anything after that. But then again back then, there were only a few string choices, not like today.Probably why gut was so popular back then. Another tip, be careful with blocked holes, do not use an awl, plan ahead, and place a scrap string on outside of racquet to allow string to go through, as it is a soft string, and that makes for little more patience to get string through a blocked hole.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
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  30. SmAsH999

    SmAsH999 Rookie

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    yes, i hit with heavy topspin/slice, and I serve around 90 mph on a good first serve.
    also, I am using a ktour with gamma synthetic gut at 57 lbs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
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  31. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I had trouble stringing Babolat and Pacific gut. You have to be very careful not to let it "kink". If it does kink, the strands separate, and while they look to go back together under tension, I'm not sure that the string isn't permanently weakened. I tried the Klip Armour Pro which has a white coating. It seemed much easier to work with, and my strings seem to last longer.
     
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  32. Applesauceman

    Applesauceman Semi-Pro

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    Another less expensive natural gut option would also be Klip Legend or Pacific Classic Gut. I've never tried Pacific Classic Gut, but Klip Legend plays very good to me.
     
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  33. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    NG stringing tips

    Agreed. I use gut exclusively now on my own racquets... and using an X-2 is no more difficult than any other machine.


    Here are a few tips for stringing NG:
    • Go slowly... NG is very easy to kink.
    • Be careful when pulling gut through the grommets (especially on the first 10 or so crosses where there is much more string to pull through due to the length).
    • Be careful with awls and other 'pointy' or sharp objects.
    • Think ahead... If you have grommet holes that will be blocked and/or difficult to push a second string through, insert a small piece of string in the hole to keep the path open. The fewer times you get an awl near the gut... the less chance of snapping it
    • A light pre-stretch does remove some of the 'tightness' from the coils.
    • The ends of the gut can get soft from pushing through many grommets, so keep the end trimmed to a nice stiff point.
    • Be aware if the gut starts unraveling. On many less expensive guts (and some of the regulars), it will start unraveling as you approach the last 5-10 crosses. Just give the gut a slight twist (reverse the unraveling) before tensioning.
    • Be careful when tensioning knots (i.e. tightening). Do it by hand and don't be superman. This is where many gut 'accidents' occur.
    .
    Stringing natural gut is only 'difficult' the first 3-5 times. After that you get a feel for it.
     
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  34. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    WOW!!! This is great stuff. Thank you very much. I really enjoyed reading it. All great tips. Sounds like you did a lot of gut jobs.
    So, i string a racquet in about 30-40 minutes with regular strings. With gut i am thinking may be a bit longer. I am definitely trying it this weekend. I got 2 sets of Klip legend and 2 sets of Babolat Tonic + so, i should be all set. It sounds like fun job.
    Will let you know once i am done.
    Thank you ALL for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
     
    #34
  35. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    has anyone tried Unifibre natural gut. they have it on e bay for around 18-20 bucks. any info on this?:)
     
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  36. thel

    thel New User

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    I string my frames with Tonic 15 in the mains and Sheep micro in the crosses. All told, the cost is about $13-14 for the string and it performs brilliantly. Loads of power and comfort and it is actually pretty durable. I don't have to worry about the strings going dead before breaking them anymore which is nice...always felt like a waste when I would cut out "dead" strings.

    As for stringing gut, it does kink really badly due to the coil memory. Prestretching helps a bit, but having an extra set of hands to uncoil it out of the package helps a lot as well.
     
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  37. Superman1272

    Superman1272 Rookie

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    Kot_Bigemot:

    If you are interested, I posted my thoughts on stringing up gut for the first time. I string on a Klippermate (a low-end drop-weight like your Babolat) and you might find my thoughts helpful/insightful or just plain amusing. :)

    chek it out here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=248313
     
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  38. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    Thank you very much for the link. I enjoyed reading it. It was very educating.
    I can not use poly as it literally kills my elbow. After 30 minutes of playing with ploy, it takes about a month for my elbow to stop hurting.
    I am happy with natural gut or i use some soft multi string.
    In fact, tomorrow morning i will try to string my racquet with natural gut for the first time. I just love nat gut - no pain, all shots seem to be perfect.
    I will post results.
     
    #38
  39. davidahenry

    davidahenry Professional

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  40. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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  41. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    If someone is considering gut merely for the arm comfort, they could just go with a good quality multi at a reasonable tension and get the similar benefits...gut isnt magical as far as comfort goes <altho it does absorb shock quite well>, and some guts are firmer playing than some soft multi's or basic syn gut. If playing poly, a change to a base syn gut would mean a large boost in comfort level.
    Performancewise is an entirely diff story.
     
    #41
  42. jhp49

    jhp49 Rookie

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    That's not what I have experienced recently. I have tendonitis of the bicep and rotator cuff. I tried about 5 different combinations of multi's or synthetics in a 6 week period. Even strung one set at 40lbs. None of the combinations helped my shoulder. I strung my racquets in natural gut and it really helped the pain in my shoulder. My game improved because the pain decreased.

    JHP
     
    #42
  43. pshulam

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    Really? That's funny.
     
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  44. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    Which strings did you try?

    I am thinking about using Head rip control @50 lbs for alleviating elbow pain.
     
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  45. jhp49

    jhp49 Rookie

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    I tried Alpha 2000, Pro Supex Titan, Pro Supex Maxim Touch, and some other combinations of multi's, syn's, and hybrids with soft polys I had on hand. I strung all of the combinations between 40 and 50 (very low though I prefer higher tension when my shoulder is not hurting). I finally tried 16G Global Gut strung at 48. I really like it. I will string my next gut racquet at 54lbs. I think I can string gut higher without increasing the pain in my arm and shoulder.
     
    #45
  46. Jackie T. Stephens

    Jackie T. Stephens Professional

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    I would get the new Luxilion M2 if I were you, feels good.
     
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  47. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    I am sorry but, M@ felt like the worst string i have ever played with. First - it is not arm friendly at all, second - string has no feel what so ever - just like all poly strings.
    That is my experience with M2 anyway, someone else may feel different about it.
     
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  48. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Ditto here.

    Gut is superior to a multi in every way (arm comfort included) and I've tried many of the multis which are popular here at TT.
     
    #48
  49. raygo

    raygo Semi-Pro

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    ^^ I agree. My GF got me a spare racquet strung with VS Team, and after using it exclusively for a bit to get 'used' to it, my other strings feel noticeably plasticky(?) by comparison.

    They haven't broken yet, I have about 10 hours on them, and I normally break strings like it's going out of style--gut lasted longer than I expected. It was enough to convert me and I ordered several sets of Tonic+. Hopefully it crosses well with Iso Pro because I still have a reel of it. :oops: At $15 per string job, it was hard to say no anymore.

    I'm also lucky to have wet weather strings that I really like. Gut really is where it's at.
     
    #49
  50. SmAsH999

    SmAsH999 Rookie

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    I may look into M2, but is it plus or pro?
     
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