Gut/poly emptying my pockets

Discussion in 'Strings' started by syke, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. syke

    syke Professional

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    Gut mains / poly cross is the best string combination I have tried so far.
    Nice spin, good ball pocketing, good tension maintenance, the poly stiffens the stringbed and improves control while the gut masks the dead poly.

    But my strings are breaking way too often.... :cry:
    I can't be stringing them after every 8 hours of play.

    The poly is crazily sawing into the gut and they all snap at the 6th or 7th row (cross) in the region of the sweet spot.

    I am left with 3 choices...
    1) Full poly - Least preferred to avoid any arm issues.
    2) Multi mains + Poly crosses - Can this last as long as gut? Multi is cheaper hence it would be easier to swallow... financially.
    3) Full gut (specifically VS BT7 Black) - Although this option is more expensive than the Tonic+ I use, the black coating could be an advantage with it's slightly stiffer feel and resilience to fraying. Question, will gut crosses "eat" less into the gut mains?

    What do you guys think?
     
    #1
  2. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    What poly are you using in the cross? A soft, round, thin poly might do the trick.
    Co-Focus comes to mind.
     
    #2
  3. syke

    syke Professional

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    For crosses, I am using alu power 125.
    Would a softer or thicker poly significantly improve the life of the mains?
     
    #3
  4. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    Maybe fatter poly. Cheaper poly?
     
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  5. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    Thicker round poly.
     
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  6. lefty10spro

    lefty10spro Semi-Pro

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    Try BeastXP 16g or BBO for the crosses. These crosses play extremely well and are low friction, but are not cheap options.
     
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  7. syke

    syke Professional

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    It's not the price of the poly that's killing me. It's the gut!:cry:

    Since the mains contribute most to the feel of the stringbed, if there is a poly that doesn't chew up my gut that quickly, I am all for it.

    But is there such a poly to begin with? Or do I have resort to using a multi to replace the expensive gut?
     
    #7
  8. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I'd like to help you out, but I can't seem to finish reading your original post as my eyes keep drifting to the left and focusing on your avatar...
     
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  9. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    OK, I put a piece of paper on the monitor to block out the left side...

    Have you tried Pacific Tough Gut? It is slightly stiffer than regular gut, but lasts twice as long. If you mix it w/ a softer poly, it actually plays real nice.

    I'm currently using Tough Gut 17g mains @ 58 and SPPP 17g crosses @ 56. So far, I'm enjoying both the feel, power & durability.
     
    #9
  10. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Yeah. Who is in the op avatar?
     
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  11. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    Global or Gaucho costs less than Alu. Should be good enough. get the thickest gauge!
     
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  12. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    Give Co-Focus 1.18 a try. It's only $7.90 a set and tension maintenance is very good. Specially for this gauge.
     
    #12
  13. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Oh, and I forgot to mention...I've been using gut mains/poly crosses for over 4 years now. My normal setup is Pacific Classic 17g / Topspin Concept Pure 17g at same tension mentioned above. However, during clay season I switched to Tour Bite as I was snapping the gut after 1 match.

    The Tough Gut/SPPP is slightly stiffer, but still better than full poly. Plus, it looks cool in my frame:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #13
  14. Delpojuice

    Delpojuice New User

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    1) There are softer Polys out there to avoid arm problems. And don´t forget that poly gives you the most spin if that is an issue for you.
    2) If you´re a hard hitter I wouldn´t go with Multi in the mains maybe in the crosses. IMO Multis loose tension too quick and aren´t resistant to movement - less spin.
    3) Pretty expensive. But better than multis and better spin production.

    possible solution: Poly in the mains (Alu Power) syngut in the crosses (Wilson NXT) - $$$ - :sad:
     
    #14
  15. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    Full gut wont last any longer than gut/poly. Sounds like your gut is unraveling prematurely. Try a different gut. Also try dropping the tension in the cross to allow the gut to slide more easily. 15L gut with 16g poly should help too.
     
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  16. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    If the crosses are sawing through your mains, you'll need to change crosses. My gut - co-focus hybrids are lasting me more than 50 hours.

    Textured poly crosses are for those who don't mind restringing weekly.
     
    #16
  17. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Try bhbr/os prem. ltec.
     
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  18. syke

    syke Professional

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    Nice racquet Mclovin... The xforce pro is looking good... Was that freshly strung? Is the SPPP gentle on the gut mains?

    I have read about Pacific tough guard and Klip armour pro, both supposedly to offer better durability. I don't mind them a little stiffer as long as it lasts significantly longer than the Tonic+. Unfortunately, my stringer doesn't have them in stock. Guess I will order some from TW.
     
    #18
  19. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    He's right about multis. Nrg2 as cross is great, but not as main, and even then, does not last long as tensioner. bhbr will not hurt your arm is $80/reel, and ltec os lasts longer than alu by far. I would also try increasing tension on all the perimeter strings: last two side mains, first/last three crosses, with that combo, and then tell me it's not the best poly job you ever had with no arm pain.
     
    #19
  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Why are you using ALU power as a cross? Use CoFocus and save some money
     
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  21. syke

    syke Professional

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    How thick should I be going for the crosses?
    Tonic+ is around 1.28 - 1.30mm, while the Alu power is 1.25mm.
    Do I string up the crosses with >1.30mm?

    How would a thicker cross play? I guess I would have to string it tighter as well.
     
    #21
  22. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    If you've got a nice but, you might as well wear shorts that go up your crack and show it off to all the paparazzi! Wish Hornykova would have done that more often.
     
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  23. syke

    syke Professional

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    I will definitely give Co-focus a try since it's highly recommended by Power player and yourself.

    Question, poly at 1.18mm? Wouldn't it chew up the gut mains even faster?
     
    #23
  24. syke

    syke Professional

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    I was hoping multi being closer to natural gut in terms of playability would be a more prudent replacement choice over nat gut.

    40ft xone biphase is $16 compared to 40ft Tonic+ at $32. That's huge savings if it lasts as long as the 8 hours I am having with nat gut before it snaps.

    As for poly, I am not worried about durability, cuz my poly never snaps (at least not before the gut mains) and dead polys is not prominently evident with gut as mains. The only reasoning for me to change to a softer and thicker poly, is to extend the life of the gut mains.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
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  25. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Not if it's a very smooth and elastic copoly like Co-Focus.

    As for the diameter of the crosses, I'd suggest going down a gauge size (or 0.05mm) from the mains. The reason is related to the amount of surface area in contact between the mains and the crosses, and the resulting friction from that.

    Lower surface area and friction is good because it will facilitate spin and therefore control. Going too thin, however, will facilitate notching -- so it's finding the right balance for your mains gauge.

    Tonic 1.30 and Co-Focus 1.23 ought to work together really well. When I tried out a similar gauged setup using Pacific Classic mains, I was nearly at the 40 hour mark when it broke . . . and it only broke because I foolishly played with it in damp conditions -- there weren't any notches at that point.

    IMO what makes Co-Focus different from most other poly crosses is its smoothness and elasticity. Stiff crosses will definitely saw through your mains over time, while more elastic ones will give and compress a little on contact -- translating into much greater longevity.

    Currently I'm getting fantastic durability from my Pac 1.25 x CoF 1.18 setup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
    #25
  26. syke

    syke Professional

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    Focus guys... Quit feeling horny with my avatar... Lol.. :)
     
    #26
  27. syke

    syke Professional

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    Nice! I will try the Co-focus tomorrow and keep the tough gut/armour pro option in mind. I am still hesitant with a thinner poly cross though...:confused:

    Hopefully, less string breaks with coated gut & elastic copoly.
     
    #27
  28. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that was fresh off the stringer. I'll try to take a photo tonight after my girls' match (I coach a local high school team and it all depends in when we get home).

    So far, so good, though. It has had 3 singles matches on outdoor hard and 1 doubles match on clay (they just opened the clay courts this week!) and still plays nice w/ no fraying. The SPPP is extremely smooth.
     
    #28
  29. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    Try string savers..

    Try string savers..specifically Babolat elastocross.

    In my case, it extended NG mains life 3-4 times longer than without it.
     
    #29
  30. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Go with a smooth round non textured co-poly in the crosses like others have mentioned. I used to get about 8 hours of play with a full set of natural gut but ever since I switched to gut mains and a smooth poly, it's double the duration before it breaks. So instead of 8 hours of play, I get 32 hours for a set of natural gut which to me works.
     
    #30
  31. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I meant the thickest Gut gauge. I would keep Alu power as cross as it's just works so well with the gut main!
     
    #31
  32. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    OP -

    I just put in a set of Babolat Tonic 15L and Co-Focus 17L. at 58/53.... WOW. Can't say much about durability yet, but it plays like a dream. Never tried 15L gut but it's thumbs up for me. I've been using BHBR at 47lbs. for a few months now, but this is my new set up. I'm getting more spin, more control, better touch, power on command., better everything. I'd tried thinner gut with co-focus, at 52/48 but had control issues. I suggest The OP try a thicker gut before punting on gut altogether.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
    #32
  33. syke

    syke Professional

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    Just strung up with tonic+ & msv co-focus and installed a couple of string savers. Hopefully it works.
     
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  34. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Thicker gut and Elastocross string savers are the first things to come to mind for me, too.

    Another idea, which I haven't tried yet: there are some ribbon-shaped co-polys (Gosen Polymaster II, L-Tec Premium 3S) that are designed to slide across rather than saw into each other. Seems like an ideal cross for natgut.
     
    #34
  35. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    ^^^
    ^^^Best avatar, followed by best signature. Epic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
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  36. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Nice. Looking forward to your comments.
     
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  37. syke

    syke Professional

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    Just had an hour serve practice. Off the bat, it felt muted, less powered, less pop, had better control, spin wise round about the same as the alu power.

    Probably they aren't broken in yet. I have a 2 hour session tomorrow, hopefully it gets better.

    Most importantly, I hope the strings last longer than the tonic+/alu power combo (at least twice as long....haha). I can live with the muted feel.
     
    #37
  38. syke

    syke Professional

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    You mean something like the Gosen Sidewinder? Wouldn't a shaped Poly promote sawing instead of sliding?
     
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  39. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    That's probably how the strings will play for you? I mean if the strings aren't broken in/settled in after a hour, that's just how they'll hit. :(
     
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  40. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    For most shapes, including Sidewinder, yes. They are shaped to increase friction (the intent is ball-string friction, but string-string friction is usually a by-product).

    The flat ribbon shape ("squoval" is the delightful term the L-Tec folks are using – say it out loud; it's fun) is intended to reduce friction. The idea seems to be reduced friction from two flat surfaces slipping past each other, as opposed to two circular cross sections whose shape squeezes them together when they are tensioned. You might get a tad more surface area where mains and crosses touch, but if you do apparently the trade-off is worth it.

    Hmmm.... I'm not sure I wrote that well enough for it to be clear. How about this: having someone saw back and forth on your arm with a smooth nylon rope will hurt less than with a rough hemp rope, but having them saw back and forth with a ribbon (the flat part of it, of course) won't hurt at all.

    Does anyone know of any ribbon-shaped strings besides the rather pricey L-Tec 3S and Gosen Polymaster?
     
    #40
  41. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    Multi mains. I've had a terrible experience.

    Fat Gut Tonic+. Fat Poly (any soft poly should do.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
    #41
  42. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    This is the least spinny your stringjob will ever be. Around the 8-10 hour mark you ought to really notice a difference. And depending on the tensions you've strung at, you might also start to notice slightly more pop as well.
     
    #42
  43. 2handsbothsides

    2handsbothsides Semi-Pro

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    Gut / co-focus just dosn't have the initial playability of gut / ALU whiich has more pop with pinpoint control from the start but the ALU is pretty dead at 3 to 4 hours. The co-focus is mute to start and continues to slowly soften over time. You can use the co-focus longer but it is a compromise of cost / playability / life.
     
    #43
  44. syke

    syke Professional

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    Yeah, Alu Power felt livelier. I guess I can live with the muted feel of the Co-Focus if it indeed lengthens the life of the gut mains.
     
    #44
  45. syke

    syke Professional

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    Just busted another gut/alu power set after 4 hours of play. Darn...
    The gut/co-focus is still looking good with no noticeable fraying on the gut mains.

    Makes me wonder, if I should spin less and drive more.
     
    #45
  46. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Two questions:

    What tensions are you stringing at?

    Are your strokes Nadal-like brushes, or more classical like Fed's?
     
    #46
  47. syke

    syke Professional

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    They are strung at 57lbs gut mains, 53lbs poly crosses.

    Much like Nadal kind of strokes, SW/W, Windsheild wiper. I see fluffy yellow felt in the air on all my FHs.. Lol...
     
    #47
  48. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    Interesting comments. I love co-focus and it's definitely my cross for a good while. One thing I have noticed is that some days it still needs a break in period. Even with 8-10 hours on it some days it seems to take 15-20 minutes for it to get smooth and plush again.

    I find the playability outstanding but at times it is a bit inconsistent for a few minutes. After 3 hours with ALU as a cross my shoulder and arm are telling me to get another string. None of that with co-focus.
     
    #48
  49. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Ah, that explains a lot! Your tensions are probably locking your stringbed too much so that your windshield wipers are causing your crosses to saw your mains way too fast.

    You might see a lot more spin and longevity if you drop your tensions 5-10 lbs. The sound of that may freak you out a little, but you'll see a dramatic increase in spin so you'll actually maintain control. It's true that at lower tensions, shots which would normally be 4 feet out may go 8 feet out, but the flipside is that you'll have much more spin pulling down your shots so that they stay in.

    And since you windshield wipe, you may even need to go to 15L mains, and experiment with both 1.18 and 1.23 crosses to see what works for you.

    But first see how many more hours the CoF set gives you at your current tensions.
     
    #49
  50. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    The best budget setup with similar feel is OG Micro mains and Isospeed Baseline crosses. This setup is like $2 per string job.
     
    #50

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