Gaucho Natural Gut String Review (photos included)

Discussion in 'Strings' started by drakulie, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hi Everyone. As promised, from my post in the Global Natural Gut Thread, here is a quick review of the Gaucho Natural Gut Strings I mentioned in that thread.

    They come in blue, black, and natural. Strings are also offered in a "spiral" color, ala the old Victor Imperial strings, which I feel is a great touch, and going back to the more "artistic" side of string manufacturing. I have spoken to one of their representatives, and they are in the process of adding several colors to their line, including orange, red, blue, yellow, etc. Some of these will come with the "spiral" effect. The strings are $14.00 per set. Each set of strings comes in two pieces (approx 22' long). My set came packaged in a sealed foil (seen in photos below). Also Included was a nice letter with Gaucho logo, along with a stamp/crescent (seen in photos). The strings came directly from the US, so unlike Global Gut, the shipping was much quicker.

    I ordered the strings on Wednesday, and received them today in the mail. I immediately opened up the package and after reviewing the strings, and inspecting them, went to stringing my frame. The set I received is a blue spiral, with a greyish undertone, at 16 gauge. The gauge is more closer to a 15L. The string, although not as consistent as babolat VS along the entire length, is along the same lines as the Global. It is also not as well coated as the Babolat, where the VS is extremely smooth to the touch, however, the coating is very good, and covers the entire string. It is also not as dry/brittle as the Gloabal, and seems to be better oiled/produced.


    Being that I want to demo the string twice, at different tesnions, I decided to go with a hybird (gaucho in mains, and lux in crosses), strung at 60 lbs. After a nice pre-stretch, I easily strung the gaucho in the mains, and after wards waxed the mains just a bit, in order to complete the crosses. Absolutley no problems stringing, including completing the last mains and tying off, or tying off the crosses. Everything went super smooth.

    I have to say, the strings look cool in the kps88. I even decided to go "rock & roll", and do a black "W" stencil. (hope it makes me look mean tomorrow on the courts). After I hit the courts, I'll come back here and do a review of the on-court performance.

    Here are the photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2010
    #1
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Second Review:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3818690&postcount=63

    Third day of hitting:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3823967&postcount=97

    Fourth day of hitting:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3826486&postcount=110

    Fifth Day of hitting (strings snap):
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3831759&postcount=154
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
    #2
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Old set of Victor Imperial:

    [​IMG]
     
    #3
  4. skyzoo

    skyzoo Banned

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    This may come out rookie-ish, but what did you wax them with?
     
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  5. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

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    Better or worse than Global? performance wise.
     
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  6. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I use a regular household candle, and gently rub the mains to wax them.

    Not sure if you read the OP, but I have yet to play with them. I just finished stringing the frame, taking photos, and starting the thread. Will let you know tomorrow after I hit the courts.
     
    #6
  7. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

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    I am sorry,:oops:
    Second time thats happened to me today:(

    I though you had tried them because you had strung one full job and then a hybrid....

    my bad.
     
    #7
  8. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

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    Btw the Victor imperial tin can, does that "seal" the nat gut, like it would in the bags the nat gut comes in?
     
    #8
  9. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Never heard of this gut, yet they say they have been in business for a long time.

    I would not be surprised if this company is none other than Global Gut or a company affiliated with Global Gut.

    Their FAQ states that their guts are manufactured in South America and ... drum roll please ... India.
     
    #9
  10. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I posted this in the Global thread, when I first found the string:

     
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  11. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    ____________
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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  12. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Thanks.

    The Global thread has grown so long, I don't bother reading it much.
     
    #12
  13. nethawkwenatchee

    nethawkwenatchee Professional

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    drakulie, thanks for the info! I'll try some.
     
    #13
  14. some6uy008

    some6uy008 Semi-Pro

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    Definitely looking forward to your review of the strings. It'll be interesting to see how they compared to Global gut and if there is any different play at all.
     
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  15. strongman

    strongman Rookie

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    That's so great! waiting for your court performance w/ Gaucho strings
     
    #15
  16. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    $14 for a set.?!

    Looking forward to your performance review.
     
    #16
  17. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    OMG! Where did you get that stuff from man? Have not seen it in decades.
    One question comes to mind - are really that old :twisted: ? Joke.
     
    #17
  18. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for taking the time to post all this info! :) Very curious how they'll play - I wasn't really a fan of GG, but your description suggests these may be a notch above. Good looking string, too - I'm a sucker for the old spiral design.

    I will leave remarks on you hoarding the key to Tilden's balls untyped. :twisted:

    How much was shipping to CONUS btw? Just wondering if there's an unusual markup there. Thanks again -
     
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  19. schenkelini

    schenkelini Semi-Pro

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    Me too. I can't wait to read your review. I just strung up my first set of GG last night and am looking forward to trying them. I think though if I Gaucho plays anywhere close to GG that I will find the option of being able to buy just a couple of sets at a time very appealing.
     
    #19
  20. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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    Would be much more relevant if you just strung a full bed with this stuff...instead of crossing it with a poly!:confused:

    I mean its only like 14 bucks right!?:confused:

    Anyway, I anticipate tour reviews.:)
     
    #20
  21. rozzman

    rozzman New User

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    According to gaucho's website the strings are made in Uruguay and India. It's funny how I -living in Uruguay- can't find them in any store. More over, I've never heard of them until today.

    On a side note, in Uruguay there are not buffalos. That's a fact
     
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  22. diamondgeezer

    diamondgeezer New User

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    Drakulie, thanks very much for the info. I've been playing with some GG for a while and I like it, but if I will definitely give this a whirl.

    Long live Gaucho and Global Gut!
     
    #22
  23. bsandy

    bsandy Hall of Fame

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    Remember . . . We are talking about Asian Water Buffalo not American Bison.

    Asian Water Buffalo have been imported to South America -- Not sure about Uruaguay.

    . . . Bud
     
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  24. rozzman

    rozzman New User

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    It hasn't been imported here, I'm certain about it. We have lots of cows and sheeps though, but again, according their website, they have one of their factories here in Uruguay, and the strings are made of buffalo. Those 2 things can't be both true.

    I just send them an email and will post back when I get an answer.

    -Javier
     
    #24
  25. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    How much was shipping drak? I'm pretty interested in trying this stuff out.
     
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  26. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Couldn't the animal products be imported to Uruguay?
     
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  27. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Uruguay is one country definitely not in need of importing beef. They have enough cattle that do not make it to the parilla to supply a massive amount of serosa. Not that they'd eat the serosa :) Maybe using India for the facility and dirt cheap labor?
     
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  28. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Are there any natural gut brands produced and sold in Uruguay?
     
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  29. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Couldn't the buffalo serosa be imported, a few miles down the road, into Uruguay?
    That way, you could have string produced from buffalo in Uruguay, even if there are no buffalo in Uruguay
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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  30. rozzman

    rozzman New User

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    Exactly.

    And (in the hypothetical case that Uruguay would import cattle, which it doesn't) If you were to start a company it doesn't make any sense do it on a place when you have to import the feedstock. In their website they state Gaucho Strings began operations in Uruguay in 2001


    There's no natural gut produced here and I haven't found a store that sells NG here. In general, you won't find much variety on strings in Uruguay. Remember is a 3rd world country and few people here can afford a $ 30 set of string


    As Il Mostro said, Uruguay doesn't import beef. We export it. That's just not happening
     
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  31. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    But why would you want or need buffalo (other than making buffala mozzarella)? :) Gut is historically produced from cows and steers, no? I don't quite get the whole "buffalo" thing. I think this company might be based in Uruguay in name only.
     
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  32. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    I wonder if they realize how much potential business is riding on the outcome of this thread.
    I hope it plays out well for them. I'd like to have a source for decent gut at a lower price without having to order from the other side of the planet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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  33. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    I am going to order a few sets to try out. Hopefully this can be strung at higher tensions than GG and is more true to the advertised gauge. Based strictly on Drak's pics, the finish certainly looks to be of higher quality. My wife and I are planning on being in Montevideo in December/January so maybe I'll put the manufacturer on the spot and ask where their offices/facility are located. Pretty easy to see if there is a *there* there between mate and asado fixes.;-)

    If it is good, I don't care where it comes from.

    Edit: By "GG" I meant Global.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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  34. LafayetteHitter

    LafayetteHitter Hall of Fame

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    Drakulie, please excuse me if it's been posted here and I missed it but how were the shipping charges? Was it pretty efficient sending the email request for the order and then having them send the Paypal invoice? I am going to order some of the blue for my AG100's tonight.
     
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  35. LafayetteHitter

    LafayetteHitter Hall of Fame

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    Honestly if it's good quality natural gut at a reasonable price I have no worries about the details. Since I lost the ability to get my fave BDE Perf I could care less if it comes from Buffalo on the moon.
     
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  36. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Could it be that the cow serosa in Uruguay is not of the type fit for tennis string, so they import the buffalo serosa from another location in South America?
     
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  37. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    I really have no clue about that. All I know is that raising cattle is a primary "industry" there. Hopefully this turns out to be a viable alternative to the "arm & a leg" gut I am now using.
     
    #37
  38. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    I was just trying to create a scenario that considers the fact that the website says the string is produced from buffalo in Uruguay and the OP says there are no buffalo in Uruguay, but plenty of cows.
    I don't care either. If you order, let us know what's up.
     
    #38
  39. rozzman

    rozzman New User

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    If it's good I don't care either. Just want to let you guys know that the information they give on their website is most likely false, so they may be unreliable


    I just send them an email asking how can I get them in Uruguay.

    BTW, if you're planning to come to Montevideo on the summer you may want to visit Punta del Este. It just 2 hours away from Montevideo and it has very nice beaches. Let me know if you need some tips about places to go and stuff.

    And if you got some spare time when you come we can hit the courts.


    -Javier
     
    #39
  40. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    ^^^^^
    Just sent my request for Pay Pal invoice. Not to be a misanthrope, but you have to wonder how many facilities exist to manufacture natural gut. It is not as simple a process as gutting a herd of bovine creatures and twisting their innards into string.

    To the best of my knowledge, there are such facilities in France and Down Under. A precious few, at that. We know about the cheap-gut option from South Asia.

    Now, if in fact there were an established facility in Uruguay, wouldn't you think that this would be a known product in neighboring Argentina and Chile, both tennis hotbeds, at the very least?

    Pure and wild speculation on my part, but what keeps someone from having Emerson produce product to their specs, improving the packaging and giving it a "name with a story"?
     
    #40
  41. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    I think you are right. This Gaucho gut is nothing but a new version of Emerson. Or just same Emerson with new story.
    I am not ordering. I still have some GG but, currently using VS and i like it a lot. For the price i paid for this VS, it would be a crime to use something else :)
     
    #41
  42. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Review of Gaucho Natural Gut Blue Spiral 16 G.

    Racquet: KPS88.
    Tension: 60 lbs
    Hybrid: Gaucho Gut 16g mains, Lux Alu Power Crosses
    Surface: Har tru

    Here are my **initial thoughts** on the string after a two hour intense hitting session.

    My hitting partner today was an ex junior champion from England. He is just getting back into the game after a long layoff. Hits with heavy spin off both wings, two handed backhand. Excellent pace on serve, with heavy spin, and great slice. We spent an hour drilling (FH, BH, down the lines, cross courts, volleying,, etc.) Our second hour was spent playing tie breaks, and half court tennis.

    Initial impressions. The gaucho natural gut string performs in the same manner as gut is supposed to. First and foremost, it is not only more comfortable to hit with than any synthectic, but also produces more power/spin. I was finding it very easy to produce power on all strokes (fh,bh, serves, slice). In my hitting session today, I actually had to adjust my strokes a bit, because shots were tending to fly a bit long on me. Please note, I typically string in the 65 range, and this problem I believe would easily be remedied by stringing a little tighter. I felt like shots were just getting away because of the more springier/livelier feel the string produces on the string bed. That said, shortening up on my swing, and brushing just a tad more, gave shots more spin, and therefore much more action to have them drop in the court deep, and producing a heavier ball.

    As mentioned above, the spin produced is very good, and with the added bonus of power the string produces, this resulted in very heavy shots. Along with the added power on groundies, my serves were also flying off the racquet with great pace, and second serve's were getting great action as a result of the spin. My opponent stated my second serves were really jumping off the court, and were very hard to attack with offensive returns. Although I was enjoying the relative ease to produce pace and spin, again, I was having a bit of problems with my control and placement. Once again, I believe stringing a bit tighter will take care of this. The string, in all areas magnified the power of this already powerful frame.

    All important feel: feel with the string, as I said earlier was very comfortable. Not as crisp as Babolat, BDE, etc, however, a nice balance of a solid feel, combined with a comfortable like response delivered back to your hand at contact. Best way to describe it is to compare it to one's preference in bed mattresses. Some of us like a soft cushioned feel that "swallows" us when we lay down, where as some like a stiffer feel. This string is in between. That said, the string definitely, in the kps88, enriched the feel of the frame in every aspect.

    The string tension after a night sitting in my bag, and two hours of hitting, has retained it's tension. It also has zero signs of fraying/sawing. Please note, this is only based on two hours of hitting, but all in all, I could at this point give the string two thumbs up, and look forward to hitting the courts tomorrow to continue trying out the string.


    Pros: A good balance between soft/crisp. Above average power, above average spin. Excellent feedback to the hand at contact.

    Cons: extra power produced by very lively string bed was hard to control, so will have to string a bit tighter. Of course, this is not necessarily a "con"/bad thing, but the string for me, is much too powerful. Again, this is easily remedied by stinging tighter at my preferred tension if this natural gut could take the stress of being string in the mid 60 range.

    Thanks for reading the review, and stay tuned as I will provide a daily update of the string until it snaps. I have another two hour hitting session scheudled tomorrow, and then will be hitting on Tuesday with an ex-satellite player.

    Let me know if you have any questions. Hope you all have enjoyed the review, as much as I have completing it, and trying out the string.
     
    #42
  43. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    rozzman, il mostro, and all the others, please read the following, which I provided in post # 10 of this thread, and perhaps it will answer many of your questions:

     
    #43
  44. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Many of you have asked how much the shipping is. I think this question would be better answered by, Gaucho, because the cost of shipping and handling will depend on where you live, how many sets you are ordering, etc. In my case I received one set, and the cost of shipping and handling via usps prority mail was less then $5.00.


    One more thing, whether this string is manufactured by, Emerson or not, IMO it plays much better than any of the Global Gut String I have tried, and I prefer it's performance (so far) much more. Still, it is early, and again please keep in mind this is only one set of string I have received.
     
    #44
  45. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Then why the story about also making string in Uruguay? To justify the name? Since these guys are obviously quite small, it is a good bet that despite their claim of a "shared facility", Emerson is simply acting as a contract manufacturer. Maintaining their own staff and sharing a facility with what appears to be a more established company doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why Emerson would share a facility rather than just produce product for Gaucho is an entirely new discussion. I think these guys are very "creative", if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, it sounds quite decent based on your play-test. I am hopeful that the QC is better than the early GG I tried. I know I will not find $14 string to replace my VS Team, but I would be thrilled to find something that works well for the price on my "peripheral" racquets. This could be perfect for those that I play infrequently -- with gut's tension maintenance I know I can just pick up the racquet and go hit.

    Edit: Encouraging that you strung it at 60 lbs. -- what type of machine did you use?
     
    #45
  46. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^Those are all great questions, and perhaps someone from the company will see/read this thread and chime in.

    For me, I could care less where/whom manufactured the string, as long as it performs. And, so far, and I know it is early, I'll spend 14.00 or even the $12 on Globlal, before I give babolat $42.00.

    Additionally, absolutely love the "spiral" look, not offered by any other maker of natural gut I know of. Takes me back to my earlier playing days. :)

    Just my two cents.
     
    #46
  47. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    ^^^^
    The string *does* have a great appearance. What type of machine did you use to pull 60 lbs? I had to stay in the very low 50's to keep GG intact on a CP, even at low speed.
     
    #47
  48. strongman

    strongman Rookie

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    Did they charge for $5 for shipping?
    If so, that's very reasonable shipping fee. GG seems charging about $20. expensiive and slow from india
     
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  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, the strings look sweeeeet. BTW, even though they look like black spiral, they are actually a navy blue, which I noticed when playing under the sun today. :)

    I currently use a Ekteleon Neos. I've strung a full set of the 17 g Global Gut at 65 with no problems. Here is a video I did, when after reading about so many people snapping those strings, I felt would help. From reading their posts, I suspsected many posters had never strung gut, and were stringing it the same way they string synthetics/poly, etc.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpfwDvF3Buk

    Most people (not directing this at you), really have no experience, or have never been properly taught how to string gut, which is very sensitive, and must be handled differently than other strings.





    strongman, yes, it was less than $5.00. The strings were shipped from New Jersey to Ft. Lauderdale.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
    #49
  50. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    I have the very early GG in the clear plastic wrappers which I bought for next to nothing on an Australian auction site. I know that GG's specified tension was not high at all and I over-shot it. It did not come in 17 g at that time either -- marked 16g, but was between 15 and 15L depending on what portion of the string I was working with. The coating on the black was definitely better than the natural. I gave samples to two other experienced stringers and it snapped on both of them (they both also use electronic CP's and pulled at low speed). GG definitely did not like 59 lbs on my CP machine, but is trouble-free at lower tension. I am certain I will be safe starting 55/56 lbs based on your experience with Gaucho. I'll post a follow up once it gets here. Thanks for all your input on this subject Drak.

    P.S. Cool (and very collectable ) can of balls with "Stumpfinger" on it. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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