Gaucho Gut: Spider Silk (in depth, picture heavy)

Discussion in 'Strings' started by alidisperanza, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Hey TT,

    *Updated 2.21.11*

    I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my latest order of strings until today...Gaucho Gut Spider Silk! I'm aware DanCraig posted a brief review in Jan but I figured I'd give it a shot.


    Unboxing--Strings came all the way from Austria-- the usual Gaucho packets inside. 2 coils of 21' each. Cutting the ties, the string unraveled without difficulty, Coil memory is strong, but not obnoxious. No real imperfections of note. The string is dyed black in color and has a seemingly different coating from the usual Gaucho (more on that later)

    **A side note: I love the fact that Gaucho provides the extra foot of string and that the sets come in 1/2s. I always string my racquets in 2 piece fashion and find it very convenient.

    Stringing--

    I strung a Liquidmetal Radical MP (Czech) with (m) Spider Silk (Ss)/ (c) SilverString(SS) at 58/60. My usual setups are Gaucho Natural/SS @ 57/59. Stringing was about the same as Gaucho Natural. It's not VS but it's no where near Titan *Thumbs up*.The biggest difference from Gaucho Natural was in the coating: Ss feels like a waxed version of the natural. I'm not entirely sure if it's the dye, or something new they've done with the string but it's enough to notice. No fraying, no kinks, no damages of that sort. The only other thing I noticed is that the seams in the string are just becoming visible as white lines in contrast to the black--happens on Natural too but doesn't effect play.


    After stringing, I took the time to pick apart one of the extra strands I had left from cutting the string-- it does, indeed, have a synthetic component in there! Check out the next post-- there is a green filament inside!

    Play time tomorrow and again on Saturday. Will update as I play

    *UPDATE*

    Ok, so I've got to say, rather surprising results from the Spider silk. I had the opportunity to play some casual doubles and a set of singles tonight with the Silk/Silverstring (specs above) Total play time 1.5 hours. Didn't get much of a chance to really hit and fully test out the string but here's what I've got so far!

    The biggest adjective I would use to describe Ss (aside from the usual natural gut adj) is crisp. Plays very much like Gaucho Natural but much crisper. Note, not stiff, crisp. I feel that Gaucho natural has a softer "trampoline" like response to the string whereas the Ss snaps back. Perhaps I'm reacting to the lb bump up in stringing tension but I don't think that's the case. I did feel that the string needed some hitting to settle. Taking big cuts at the ball or hitting off-center had a bit of a buzz to it. Almost like a slight twinge to the wrist/elbow. VERY strange. My only other explanation for this is that I managed to break the butt cap (again) of my LM Rad. Needless to say it settled after about 10 minutes, no issues from then on.

    Groundstrokes are crisp and responsive-- The strings do what you want them to. Flatten out strokes and the ball pops off the frame, spin it up and there's a good sense of depth and control.

    Power,
    -it's there. It's not as explosive as Gaucho Natural but it's definitely there-- I had a blast returning some big serves for winners and felt comfortable with the pace and depth of my returns otherwise. Gaucho Natural can spray a bit long if I cut it too close to the lines. On flat strokes in general, I felt like Gaucho Natural had a bit more "oomph" whereas I had an easier time rolling high balls to the baseline with Ss.

    Spin,
    - Decently more spin friendly than GN. I was able to drive balls deep into the court whereas recently they've been going 1-2' long. Could be reacting to the 1lb tension change but as a whole, I felt like it was an improvement. Slices are easy to drive or float, either way. I'd say that Ss has a slight advantage on the floaters. Low drives are about the same.

    Serves,

    -Not my greatest night serving but Ss held up nicely. Spin based serves are a bit more accessible and pronounced where flat serves are slightly muted. I didn't quite feel the extra "oomph" I get from GN. Still great by any stretch of the imagination but it certainly took the edge off my flat serves. I did find it much easier to cut the box on the AD side with a good topspin or kick serve. I got a few (surprise) aces that way on second serves. I look forward to playing around with this a bit more once I'm feeling up to par.

    Volleys,
    -Volleys have got to be my favorite part about this string. Normally Gut/Poly volleys feel nice regardless. Ss shone tonight for me-- by far the best volleying night I've had in a long time. I typically have difficulty at net either putting too little pace on a volley or not enough angle. Something just clicked tonight and I was snapping off shots left and right. I was able to place the ball where I wanted with confidence and even found myself Serve+Volleying when playing singles just to keep the feel going. I really hope this holds up

    Overall Wear/ Tear
    Even though tonight wasn't a heavy hitting night, there is some noticeable wear on the strings. It may be due to the black coating but the strings look as if they were "roughed up." Gut typically still looks smooth after playing-- Ss reminded me of the multi from Kirshbaum's hybrix spin once you play through the outer coating. Note, I'm being rather nit-picky here, the gut isn't damaged or fraying by any means. I'd love to see how this stuff holds up for an hour or two against my usual hitting partner.

    Overall a pleasant experience so far. If Ss continues to play this way and has comparable or better durability than Gaucho Natural, I can certainly see myself switching over. Plus, black gut looks totally badass. Makes me wonder how the ICE plays now. Next play will be in Syracuse for a tournament on Saturday-- we'll see how it holds up to crunch time!

    *UPDATE February 21, 2011*
    I got the chance to thoroughly smack the little yellow fuzz around this weekend and was pretty satisfied with the Silk. My prior assessment of the strings were pretty accurate. Silk is a crisp version of the Gaucho Natural Gut.

    Silk is very responsive off the baseline. It's not as powerful as GN but it definitely has its own personal merits. What you'll find when winding into forehands and backhands is a measure of control. I, personally, found spin to be more accessible with the spider silk-- There was no difficulty rolling balls into the back court. Slices are controlled and sharp, no difficulty driving the ball low to the net, or floating them deeper into the court. In short, the strings do what you expect them to do.

    Serves
    Still missing that extra pop of the GN, but it's balanced nicely with access to spin. With GN, I've been having success with both 1st and 2nd serves flat and hard. I used to throw a slice or kick in for variation. With Silk, I noticed a shift towards spin based serves; topspin and kick in particular. I found it easier to cut angles for aces. Of 6 pure aces this weekend, only 2 were flat serves.

    Volleys--
    Still the shining measure here. I love volleying with this setup. Period. I haven't found any string combination more comfortable, nor lending me more confidence. Great snap when directing the ball, just enough response to put balls over when bending for dipping volleys.

    The biggest surprise I had with this string is the "feel." If I caught the ball off center, or with an "unorthodox" swing, I could feel the impact. Those definitely twinged the elbow/wrist. Granted this was no where near the impact of dead poly, but it was not something I expected of gut. Perhaps the slight increase in tension may have contributed to this feel, but I didn't notice this with Gaucho Natural.


    All in all, I'm satisfied with this string, It's a nice rendition of the typical gut experience. In the future, I'm going to try stringing a few lbs lighter to see if I can get some of that extra "pop" back and reduce the occasional discomfort on off-shots. With the current setup, I think that these two strings offer different sides to the same coin. I can't make a definite judgment as to which is better because I like different aspects of each. I'd love to hear from someone who plays a full bed of gut. Try hybriding GN and Ss -- I think this would really be awesome.

    Favorite PRO from GN:
    Access to spin/ tension freedom-- Silk reminded me how nice it is to be able to roll balls into the corner

    Worst Con:
    Loss of that extra pop-- I've come to rely on access to a big flat serve to set up points/ claim free points. It was a bit disconcerting at first to adjust.

    Direct comparison:

    Groundstrokes: Spider Silk
    Volleys: Silk by a wide margin
    Serves: GN (not by much)
    Power: GN
    Spin: Silk
    Feel: GN
    Stringing: About the same-- GN is a bit smoother, Ss has tension range.
    Durability: Still deciding
    Tension Retention: Still testing.

    Popped my first racquet-- ended up being a shear pop 4 mains from the throat. Silk held up pretty nicely otherwise

    Hope this was useful!

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
    #1
  2. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Picture of the synthetic component of the string-- look for the green strand. I pulled it all the way out and it's definitely some sort of multifilament-- we'll see how it changes play

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Will continue to post as I play
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
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  3. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    Very nice. If it plays well I just might have to get myself some of this. How much did it cost?
     
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  4. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    ahhh sookie! i can hardly wait to read your review on the new gaucho string. hard to believe that they finally manufactured this stuff. thanks for sharing.
     
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  5. [d]ragon

    [d]ragon Hall of Fame

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    I was under the impression Gaucho went under.

    How much was it?
     
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  6. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for posting the detailed pictures. I'd been wondering how much of this string was natural and how much synthetic, and your photos illustrated the answer nicely. I'm looking forward to hearing how it plays in a hybrid.
     
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  7. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    The regular Gaucho works nicely for me-- added strength and better tension range is nothing but bonus. I'll be hitting with it tomorrow night and will keep you guys informed.

    I'm not sure whether I'm allowed to post the price I paid because TW doesn't carry the string. Don't want to step on any toes, Shoot me an e-mail and I'll gladly fill those interested in.

    I can say, though, that it's the same price as the natural is...and was (if that helps) Surprising, right?
     
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  8. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    It's a pretty thin strand-- the second picture is a bit deceiving. I really had to dig in there to bring the green stuff out. At first it looked like a very thin ribbon of poly but it is, infact, a multi.
     
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  9. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    updated with some hitting!

    cheers
     
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  10. flashfire276

    flashfire276 Hall of Fame

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    May I just say, that's a beautiful picture. I'm really into photography.

    Anyways, this really seems like an interesting string! Can you compare it to any other string that's similar to it?
     
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  11. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    Just wondering, some ppl complained the original was uneven and looked crappy but how does the ss look? Does it seen even and well constructed. I can't really tell from the pics
     
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  12. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    nice writeup. thanks for sharing your experience.
     
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  13. LaverAtor

    LaverAtor New User

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    Awesome post Ali. This is actually what I was expecting from this string. Since it has this multi built in I was expecting just a tad bit less ball pocketing (resulting in that 'crisp' effect). I think the snap back is a result of the ball reaching a point in the string where the gut effect ends and the multi effect kicks in- which is kind of cool! It is a hybrid string, but in 1 string :). Also explains why your volleys where placed well (short stroke, quick snap with no additional trampoline effect) and why your flat serves were not giving you the usual power (less trampoline effect). Whereas say the ball may have gone 100% depth in the string bed before (fully natty effect), perhaps now it only goes 75% (this makes sense to me, hope it makes sense to others). Anyhow, keep the posts coming- very interesting.
     
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  14. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    I know exactly what you're talking about and I'm not sure where to gauge the Ss here. I've strung 1 set in 2 hybrids so far and have had 2 different experiences. The first set, the string was nice and smooth-- relatively no difference in texture/ gauge. I measured with electric calipers at 4 different (random) points and got 1.30, 1.28, 1.29, 1.32-- Not too bad for a cheap Gut: I was certainly satisfied. The other half set I got in the package way way different. I always run the length of the string through my fingers first to feel for imperfections and I could clearly tell there were some beefier spots and some thinner ones. I didn't get a chance to caliper it as I was in a rush but there were some portions that had to be "coaxed" through the grommets. Definitely not happy with that. In truth, I wanted to check my other sets first before making a final judgment on it.

    In truth-- a bit of variation doesn't bother me that much as long as the string's durability isn't compromised. Too much is a nuisance though.


    Thanks for the positive responses-- I'm thinking along similar lines for the difference in feeling. I want to get a good hour-2 hit in with it before I make final judgments though. Last night was too "stop and go" for my taste.
     
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  15. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    HAha, thanks! I was surprised that the green filament resolved so well (used a run of the mill digital camera)

    Above I compared the string to Gaucho Natural, their standard Natural Gut. I'd hate to compare it to VS because it's...well... not VS, it's an Econo Gut. The last econo-gut I remember well was Titan Natural Gut;hated the stuff. Terrible coating, prone to damage, inconsistent gauge, dried out quickly. No bueno. Played like a glorified synthetic gut. So far, both the Gaucho Natural and Ss supercede Titan by miles

    The closest in feeling I could compare it to is perhaps a NRG2, NXT, something along those lines. Very comfortable string-- much more responsive than multi, more powerful, more "grip." Note* I can't stand multifilament-- I feel it's mushy and that the ball "slips" on the strings. Gaucho Gut, while an econo gut is far superior IMHO. (Costs less too!)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
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  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    How about the feel? I'm debating between this, and the all out gut from Gaucho or Global.

    Does the synthetic component eat up a lot of the feel. This string is interesting because an underpowered gut is precisely what I'm looking for.
     
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  17. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Like I said, I'd like to get a bit more hitting time for a more accurate comparison but from what I can tell it's comparable to the natural. "Crisp" is really the only way to describe it. I wouldn't say feel is sacrificed and I wouldn't say that it's "underpowered." I still got great response off the string bed.

    I haven't had the opportunity to play with Global so I can't comment much on that.
     
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  18. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    Im definitely going to be ordering some of this soon if it plays well, crisp, and is cheap while being able to get strung at a higher tension. I see the max is 65 which is perfect for me since I likely would string at about 60.
     
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  19. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Just got back from tournament. Dead exhausted, will post later after sleep.

    Oh, yeah, SBU Tennis is going to Nationals in North Carolina!!!

    Post updated uptop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
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  20. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Updated for those following.
     
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  21. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Hey Congrats!

    You guys will have move practice sessions?
     
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  22. Hotrocks

    Hotrocks Rookie

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    Gaucho Gut???

    When Gaucho Gut was first reviewed on T/W it received a fairly positive review. I believe the post was Started by Drakulie? I purchased the blue & red spiral versions....played great in hybird and one of my racquets still has it in it, no breakage. I don't use the racquet as the poly has died. Purchased the natural a few weeks back, took to my stringer and it snapped while being strung? Don't know whom to blame, stringer or quality of the gut? I wish Gaucho would come out some consistency, because for the price it perform well!
     
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  23. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, Practice is going to take on a VERY different tone. No more fun games, we proved that we're in it to win it, time to train like we mean it.



    I've noticed a few inconsistencies in the packs that I've gotten but I haven't had any premature breakage so far. I'm inclined to think that stringers are treating Gaucho like they would VS and are just going to work. Gaucho simply doesn't have the coating that VS does and must be strung with extra care. Once you get past that, it's great stuff

    Out of curiosity, what did you string those sets @?
     
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  24. LaverAtor

    LaverAtor New User

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    I've only used the Classic and have strung it @ 54lbs recently. I never go above 55. I think I'll try some Silk for some customers I have that like tension in mid to low 60's. I'll string up a set for myself to see how it plays as well.
     
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  25. Hotrocks

    Hotrocks Rookie

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    Strung @ 49 lbs., so it wan't the tension with 51lbs. poly in mains. Could have been the stringer, never had it happen before? I thought Gaucho played great in the past!!! Thanks...........
     
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  26. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    See, I think that's the issue-- too many people are pushing that tension suggestion-- I've had no problems going as far as 58 with the natural.
     
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  27. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Good to hear. I'll bring the real gear.
     
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  28. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Updated, 1st set popped due to shear. Returned an overhead with what I thought was supposed to be a volley-- snapped at the throat 3 mains from center.

    2nd frame held up nicely for the rest of the night. Will post pictures tomorrow. If I didn't emergency string my spare frame Friday, I would have tried Silk with GN in the crosses-- I'd love to see how that plays.
     
    #28
  29. DavidNERODease

    DavidNERODease Rookie

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    I just ordered 5 sets of the 16g Spider Silk. I'm going to hybrid it with Sonic Pro 16g black (poly in the crosses). I'm not sure what tension(s) to use though with this setup. I currently use a full bed of Sonic Pro @ 49lbs in my Extreme Pro's
     
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  30. tomp

    tomp Rookie

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    Just ordered a set of Classic and a set of Spider Silk :) This is my first time using gut strings so I not sure whether to go for a full bed, or stick it in the crosses?
     
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  31. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    well, what do you usually play with?
     
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  32. tomp

    tomp Rookie

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    Well I usually play with poly main and multi cross (normally Mantis Comfort) though I have yet to find a poly I like as my go to. Do you think I should try a full bed of SS?
     
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  33. DavidNERODease

    DavidNERODease Rookie

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    I did get an email saying the order has shipped from Vienna Austria. It's going to be a long nervous 5-7 business days.
     
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  34. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    I just ordered some Spider Silk. Not sure how I'm going to set it up. I usually play with MSV Focus Hex in the Mains and Prince SG DF in the crosses.

    Any recommendations for this string?
     
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  35. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Kostas: replace your duraflex with the silk, it'll be a nice change.

    Tomp-- put the silk on the mains and poly of choice in the crosses-- Seems like the way to go



    In other news-- Strung some silk in crosses today-- it's a royal p.i.t.a. String started fraying and even unravelling at one point. Not a fun procedure. Natural is much easier to string
     
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  36. Laney Tennis

    Laney Tennis Banned

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    So what happens if the Gaucho strings break during stringing, is there a way to get your money back or have it replaced?
     
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  37. franks

    franks New User

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    Thanks for the review and all the pictures.
     
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  38. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes Gaucho will replace strings-- other times no.

    Stringing gut is an experience... stringing econo-gut is another entirely. Extra care needs to be taken with Gaucho when stringing-- especially if you're working with crosses

    @Franks, You're welcome
     
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  39. DavidNERODease

    DavidNERODease Rookie

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    I received my order on Tuesday :)
     
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  40. drummerdan

    drummerdan Semi-Pro

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    What's the pricing on this string?
     
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  41. tomp

    tomp Rookie

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    They charge $14 a set but they do currently have the 1.44mm gauges on sale for $9. Shipping varies dependent on how much you buy and where you are located.
     
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  42. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Good find!
     
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  43. tomp

    tomp Rookie

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    What tension would you recommend for the classic version in a K Blade Tour, trying to keep down on the power?
     
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  44. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Full bed? 93 or 98?
     
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  45. tomp

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    Full bed for friend, currently using rip control 1.20mm at 57lbs in the Tour (93). I was thinking 58 would be a good starting point?
     
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  46. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    The tour is fairly muted and control minded as is, gut would be a nice addition. I'd say try it around 58-60. at 14.00 a set you can't go wrong
     
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  47. tomp

    tomp Rookie

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    Thanks, think I will go 58. Will post up a picture when I am done tomorrow :)
     
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  48. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Spider silk with classic crosses would look wicked in a kbTour. Just food for thought.
     
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  49. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Uh-oh. I hope Gaucho Gut's quality has improved a lot.

    Out of 4 sets, I got to hit with 1.

    25% is not a good quality-reliability ratio.
     
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  50. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    What tension did you string it at? Old Gaucho, 60 was an issue. The newer stuff, you can go up to 60 and Silk, up to 65. Unfortunately you can't just string it up like VS, it takes a lot of tlc
     
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