Hybrid: Babolat Origin and Ahshaway Monogut zx

Discussion in 'Strings' started by eelhc, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Anyone try Babolat Origin in a Hybrid as a main? What crosses?

    I'm thinking of trying it as a main with Ashaway Monogut zx crosses.

    Seems that quite a few folks have good luck with Monogut zx crosses (mostly withPoly mains). I have a full bed of Origin on one of my frames and while I like like it overall the strings do move quite a bit. I was wondering if Monogut zx crosses would allow the origins to slide/snap back better and the overall stringbed will retain the best characteristics of both strings. While not economical it's cheaper than Glide crosses...
     
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  2. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Heard Andy @TW tried it. Might want to ask him here.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=492369

    Origin mains/ZX crosses? I'm doubtful. Those seem to be very similar strings with slightly different firmness; not sure what you want to achieve with that hybrid.
     
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  3. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    • Soft, arm friendly setup
    • retain the power of both strings
    • control/feel of Origin
    • prevent string movement with the smoother zx crosses
     
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  4. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Compared to a full bed of Origin, my guess is that the first three things on your list will be relatively the same.

    I'm not sure about the last one. It may very well be an improvement over the full bed, but I have my doubts as to whether it will be anything special in that regard.
     
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  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    I'll side with Spinovic here. The last one... well those strings are made to be closer to gut (not equal but closer), so they're not really made for spin even if they're slicker than most multis (which isn't very hard). I'd rather experiment with a smooth poly in the crosses to gain drastic spin. Or I'd actually compare both strings and use a full bed of Monogut ZX for the sake of experimenting.
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The OP is having arm problems so I think Monogut ZX would be the best cross for reducing the string movement of Origin.
     
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  7. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    We would all love poly spin and durability with gut comfort and tension loss. But until such a string setup exists, we'll have to live some compromises.

    I have a full bed of Monogut zx on a frame and I recently acquired a frame with Origin I've found both these strings to be extremely arm friendly with a good amount of power. That said while the Monogut zx provides better spin it is lacking feel/control but the opposite is the case for Origin.

    I'm hoping that with Origin mains and Monogut zx crosses, I get the best characteristics of both. The feel/control of Origin and since the Monogut zx is smooth/slippery, I'll get less string movement and therefore better spin. That said... it's a fairly expensive experiment at ~$20/string job (for a multi or whatever you call these strings) so I was wondering if anyone had tried it. I think this could be an ideal setup for friends/family who visit me 1x/year to have their racquets strung.

    In any case I'll probably string it up once I get a little more time to play.
     
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  8. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I think that is probably true. I am just skeptical about whether the difference will be of any big significance. However, there is only one way to find out and based on my own brief experience with ZX, I think it is definitely worth trying. I would also suggest maybe trying a full bed of ZX. I really like it so far. It is worth $15, IMO, based on how good it is and the fact that there is nothing else like it currently, at least to my knowledge.
     
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  9. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Looks like you've already tried the full bed of both, so you know what both provide. Go for it, it may be a perfect mix of the best of both strings.
     
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  10. bluegrass_stringer

    bluegrass_stringer Semi-Pro

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    Monogut ZX does move quite a bit in my experience. I have used it in a full bed and in a cross with poly mains. Both cases, string movement is greater than a full poly setup. But string movement is no biggie. For those that like full poly setups, adding Zyex in the crosses really takes it to another level!
     
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  11. bluegrass_stringer

    bluegrass_stringer Semi-Pro

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    By another level, I mean it adds a touch more power, but more importantly, the added feel/sensation of the zyex crosses is really noticable in a good way.
     
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  12. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    If you're sure about yourself, then try it. I'm still not convinced.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Just so all the facts are on the table, the Origin the OP is using is in my previously owned Prince Exo3 Tours. I've also tried Monogut ZX in those frames. I liked the Monogut a little better. Origin moves like crazy at least in the Exos, so I get where the OP is trying to go. I'd definitely be interested in the results with a hybrid of the two.
     
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  14. spinovic

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    Same here. Hopefully he will update us if/when he tries it. I might try a multi/MonoGut hybrid myself if he gets good results.
     
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  15. Ramon

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    My favorite hybrid is actually Mono ZX mains with a syngut cross, and Origin is basically a high end syngut. One of the best reasons to go this route is durability. The ZX is a tougher string while the syngut doesn't notch into the mains. The softer the cross, the better. A stiff cross tends to take all the liveliness out of the ZX mains.
     
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  16. moonballs

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    I am playing with this setup. After 4 hours the crosses are notched while the mains are still straight and smooth. Maybe after a while I will just restring the crosses only.
     
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  17. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    I've had a busy week but I finally got around to stringing this setup.

    • Frame: Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16x18
    • M: Babolat Origin 16 @58#
    • X: Ashaway Monogut ZX @58# 50/50 method
    • Lockout tensioner
    • RacquetTune reads 61#

    Stringing is not unlike stringing poly. With the 50/50 method there are several hard weaves. I've strung Monogut ZX besofe so no issues with weaving/tensioning/tying knots. Took ~30min on my lockout.

    On this frame:

    • 18' (8 racquet lengths) of origin is enough for the mains @58# to reach the tensioner on the last main and comfortably tie knots.
    • ~16' (little over 7 racquet lengths) of enough for the crosses @58#.

    It's not a cheap string job at ~$18-19. Comparable to high end multis.

    I hit for a couple of hours and so far I like it. What I suspected is the case...

    • Much Better spin than Origin full bed
    • Retains touch/feel/control of the Origin
    • Extremely comfortable... Not plush like gut but never harsh. No surprise here
    • so far there is absolutely no string movement (remains to be seen after several hours)
    • Lots of power. I actually have a full bed of Origin at 51# (according to RacquetTune) and the Origin/Monogut ZX Hybrid is definitely more powerful.

    When I struck the ball clean, the sound was very similar to a full bed or Origin whereas the off center hits were closer in sound to a full bed of Monogut ZX. This is my first O-port frame so I'm still trying to get used to that sound... really don't know what to make of it yet.

    If the durability/tension loss is good and the there's no/limited string movement into ~20Hrs... I think this setup is definitely better than the high end Multis. The spin is not quite poly but better than any Multi or SG I've hit with. It's as comfortable if not better and feels great. I'll be reporting back but so far so good.
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    eelhc,

    Are you using the dampeners I gave you, a different dampener or none at all? Sounds like a pretty good setup so far from your review.
     
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  19. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Using the dampeners... they do make a difference. Although this is a very comfortable setup, the dampener definitely cuts vibration down on off center hits/shanks.

    Just hit with it 2 hrs so far... I hit with moderate topspin off both wings. There is ZERO string movement. I think you saw quite a bit of string movement with a fresh full bed of Origin on this frame.

    I measured 61# with RacquetTune shortly after I strung the frame and I 59# this AM. Not sure if I am getting good readings but this is excellent tension maintenance.

    This is a powerful setup (seemed as powerful as NG to me) but the spin helps tame the power.

    It's not a cheap synthetic setup (cost comparable with premium multis). If you have one of the open pattern frames (16x16, 16x15) you can easily get 3 sets of crosses from a single Monogut ZX pack. I'll hit with it some this weekend but I think I prefer it over BiPhase, NRG2 and NXT. If tension loss + durability are good, it may be a much more economical setup over the long run over my present setup (Rip Control with Cyber Blue).
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
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  20. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Happy to hear it works for you so far.
     
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  21. Ramon

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    Have you thought about reversing it with ZX in the mains? It would actually be similar to my setup, which is very durable, even on a 16x16 ESP frame.
     
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  22. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    How I arrived here.....

    • Because of arm issues I've been laying off the poly. I've been playing with multi mains and soft/smooth poly crosses (I'm not a string breaker). My go to setup is Rip Control/Cyber blue. Get the benefit of comfort/spin from rip and the smooth/slippery Cyber blue really helps the mains snap back and produce spin/control.
    • I acquired mikeler's old sticks a couple of weeks back and one of them came with a full bed of Babolat Origin @60#. Really liked the string for comfort, control, feel, etc but the strings were moving all over the place.
    • I had been stringing full bed of Monogut ZX for several folks and noticed how smooth/slippery the strings were. Everyone seemed to like the power and comfort but control/feel were lacking.
    • So I put the Origin/Monogut ZX together as I had been with Rip Control/Cyber Blue.

    I could have gone ZX/Origin... but since the mains provide bulk of the stringbed characteristics and I really like the full bed of the Origin, I chose it for the mains.

    I may try the other way around at some point. On your stringbed... which is winning the durability/wear battle? Origin or ZX? Notice any notching on either?
     
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  23. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    So how do you like this hybrid? Is it working as you'd hoped...better or worse than expected?
     
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  24. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Performance is what I was hoping for....
    • Soft, arm friendly setup
    • retain the power of both strings
    • control/feel of Origin
    • prevent string movement (better snap back) with the smoother zx crosses
    But this is only after a couple of hours of hitting.. If this setup is durable with good tension maintenance, it could be well worth the premium $. Keep in mind that relative to a full bed of Origin, this setup is less cost. It retains all the best aspects of Origin but the spin production is better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
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  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    If you reverse the setup and put Origin in the crosses, I think the ZX mains will get stuck out of place on it.
     
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  26. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Good deal. Glad to hear it and hope it works out for you in the long run. ZX is definitely a unique offering from Ashaway that I think people should, at the least, check out. People who like to play around with different strings anyway. It may not be for everybody, but it is an excellent string to me, and has a lot of potential positives as a hybrid in various different setups, not just the standard poly hybrid.
     
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  27. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I agree. ZX is like nothing out there. You may love it or hate it but you won't find a clone of it anywhere.
     
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  28. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I have to be honest. I had my doubts before I tried it, but I have been thoroughly impressed by it both in a full bed and in a hybrid with the Crossfire Kevlar. I am really liking the Kevlar hybrid early on in my test.
     
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  29. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    ZX is a great offering. Origin is also very powerful. I really see this Origin/ZX combo as a potential alternative to gut/poly with more comfort. It helps that the OP bought my actual frames so I know how they play with both strings as full bed.
     
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  30. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I don't have Origin, but would it be safe to assume another high end multi would give similar results in combo with the ZX? Or even a natural gut/ZX hybrid?

    I have a few sets of Biphase, NRG, et al that I could try. Any advice?

    I am a little more hesitant to hybrid gut with anything simply because I like it in a full bed and hate to limit its life by pairing it with something else. However, ZX may have a longer life span, and I have a couple of half sets of gut (Pacific Tough Gut and some KLIP 15 or 15L).

    So, I may give of them a go in combo with the ZX.
     
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  31. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Mixed reviews for NG with ZX.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=447979
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7497612&postcount=952
     
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  32. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    My current setup is Monogut ZX 1.27mm mains with Gamma Marathon 15L crosses. I haven't tried Origin because it's a bit expensive to use as a cross string, and for my 16x16 ESP frame I don't think that any nylon-based string will work as a main. My setup works for durability because ZX wins the battle over nylon. Nylon will not notch into the mains. I've tried multifilament crosses, but they never last much longer than 3 hours on my frame, so I'm sticking with monofilaments.

    For those who use Origin, how durable is Origin compared to other nylon-based strings?
     
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  33. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    #33
  34. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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  35. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. It may work better at higher tensions, but natural gut won't survive in my ESP frame.

    Monogut ZX is unique in that it's durable but arm-friendly, unlike poly or Kevlar. I'd probably have to sell my ESP frames if not for Monogut ZX.
     
    #35
  36. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Yup, that's me.

    1. It's no biggie, but Ramon and I appear to have vastly different ideas about how best to take advantage of the unique qualities of Monogut ZX. I'm decidedly, and unequivocally uninterested in using Zx as a main. But that's cool. More than one way to skin a cat I say. I can envision the logic and effectiveness in using it as a main when used with an ESP frame.

    2. But that's entirely antithetical to my needs. I've been playing with Gut/Poly for the last five years, and have been on a search for the better part of 2013 to find a slippery, and more comfortable cross string. What's interesting to note is that while Gut/Poly has the lowest COF (see link) of any set up on record, Poly/Gut has the among the highest. Somebody more accustomed to Poly/Gut, might see Zx as an alternative to Poly mains, but not me. I'm interested in maximizing both spin and comfort.

    Quote : " It is very interesting that the hybrid with poly crosses and gut mains is the combination with the lowest static COF. What is equally interesting is that if you change the combination to gut crosses and polyester mains, the static coefficient of friction is among the highest. Two hypotheses arise to explain these. First, if the cross is softer than the main, the main will sink into the cross. To initiate movement along the cross, the main will first have to climb a hill out of the valley it sits in, but also it will have to continually plow its way forward as it moves and sinks down the length of the cross. If the main is softer than the cross, it will deform over the cross such that it forms a slot or groove to move over the cross. That may actually facilitate movement, especially if the deformation causes a leakage of some oil, lubricant, etc. from inside the string. Second, if the cross is a multifilament or multistrand string like gut, it can also fray and break filaments as the polyester main moves up and down over its length. These broken filaments can stick up as obstacles, hooks, or spikes that can prevent or slow movement over them. "
    -- Static Friction and Spin
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/COF.php

    3. While there's no shortage of syngut/multi/nylon stings which are more comfortable than poly, all of those choices are hi friction when paired with Gut mains. (and they get even worse with wear) This is why I've always regarded poly string as a necessary evil. Gut mains are the hero of my show, but I've needed those slippery poly crosses to get the spin, and this spin comes the cost of a stiff feel, and crazy tension loss. Now I get to have slippery crosses that are much more comfortable and are much better at retaining tension. That's why I prefer ZX in the crosses, not the mains. I spent the better part of 2013 demoing well over a dozen poly crosses (see link) with gut mains, and the final result of all this testing is that I'm kicking poly to the curb entirely in favor of ZX. Pretty big change for somebody who's been using poly since somewhere in 1998 or 99, but I love this stuff.

    4. Somebody please show me a string that has ... A) Lower Stiffness, and B) Lower COF, and C) Better Tension Maintenance and D) Better Durability than Zx, and I will try it. Until that string comes along, I'm done demoing.

    -J
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
    #36
  37. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    We use Monogut ZX in different ways, and that's cool. I'm just glad it exists because I love the spin from my ESP racquet, and ZX may be the only non-poly non-Kelvar main that will give me adequate durability with a spin pattern racquet. It's interesting how both of us can do without poly because of ZX but for different reasons.
     
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  38. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Question on the zx.

    How many manually prestretch it???

    My 2 cents is that it is a vastly different string when its prestretched.

    Heck even stringing it on a lockout machine vs. constant pull will make it play very different.
     
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  39. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    It is a very unique string for sure.
     
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  40. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I don't prestretch it, mostly because I'm too lazy, but I string it differently from other strings. I use constant pull, and I let it pull until I think all the stretch is gone. My pulls are 30 seconds minimum and often longer. If I don't do that way, then I notice the playability declines after a few hours.
     
    #40
  41. drak

    drak Professional

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    Ramon have you considered Zyex mains and gut crosses? Two reasons, one is that with the gut's oil secretion I would think this would maintain the low COF of guy and Zyex? is that assumption correct?

    and secondly in an extreme spin frame like you are is using I was thinking you could use his Zyex mains with a 16 or even 15L gut cross and get the same wear as from the Marathon 15L and even more spin and comfort? and with less crosses needed you could likely get 3 cross string jobs from 1 set of gut

    and lastly have you tried a ZX/Poly cross in the spin effect frame? seems like it should last even better with less cross friction from a slick Poly vs the Marathon and should still be very comfortable, especially in a spin effect frame and even offer more spin
     
    #41
  42. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    I hit a little over 2 Hrs with this setup again again today. RacquetTune is now reading ~57.5#. So 61# freshly strung, 59# after 2 Hrs and 57.5# at ~4Hr mark. The power didn't seem any different than the first hitting session though.

    Excellent spin production still. I hit a couple of topspin lobs that normally might have been well past the baseline drop in.

    Still very comfortable (I don't expect this will change) and absolutely no string movement whatsoever.

    That said, the Origin mains have a slight amount of notching now with no wear on the ZX crosses. I checked my other frame with a full bed of Origin and the mains were notched slightly as well with no wear on the crosses. However, on that frame the mains move all over the place so it does seem like the ZX crosses are allowing the mains to snap back still.

    The notched Origin sections are also clearer in color so I wonder if there's an outer wrap of some sort.

    Not sure what this bodes for durability....
     
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  43. Ramon

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    Other posters in the past have tried ZX/Poly, and as far as I know, they all liked Poly/ZX a lot better.

    My philosophy in hybrids is that the mains are usually responsible for 75% of the playability. For that reason I've always avoided using expensive gut crosses. My guess is that the playability would be great, but durability not so great. I've used Hexy Fiber, PPA, Rip Control, DNA, and Gamma Syngut crosses with ZX in the past. For me, Marathon gave the best combination of durability and performance. As a cross for ZX, it performs better than PPA, Rip Control and Gamma Syngut. Hexy Fiber is close, and DNA might play better, but DNA only lasted 3 hours on my ESP frame. As for durability, nothing I tried comes close to Marathon, which is a monofilament. Some of the durability might be from the pearlized coating that makes it slick and reduces friction.

    I feel that multifilament type strings don't work on open spin frames because they fray, and the type of friction they get on open spin frames makes them fray too quickly. Even though natural gut is more durable than synthetic multis, it's still a multifilament construction. If cost was not an issue, I might at least try it, but at this point it doesn't seem worth it when I'm happy with a cheaper setup that isn't prone to moisture.

    Durability is actually my biggest concern with your setup. I never tried a nylon main with ZX crosses because I know Mono ZX wins the battle. BTW...ZX crosses are terribly tough on ZX mains. When I tried full ZX on my 16x16 ESP racquet, it lasted me less than 2 sets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
    #43
  44. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Played casual doubles and singles matches today. ~4Hrs total.
    RacquetTune now reads 56#. So...

    Freshly Strung: 61#
    After 2Hrs: 59#
    2 more Hrs: 57.5#
    4 more Hrs: 56#

    Maybe I'm adjusting but the power didn't seem that much different than the first hitting session.

    Spin production is still excellent, still very comfortable and still no string movement It's a bit of a surprise to look at the stringbed and see a perfect grid all the time.

    The notching on the Origin mains look no different than after the 2nd hitting session.

    Again the durability could be a problem (notching) but I think I like the setup.

    I signed up for the Kevlar/Monogut string test so I'll be hitting with that setup for a week or so.
     
    #44
  45. hmd

    hmd New User

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    I have this hybrid strung 56# in a YouTek Speed MP. The Origin mains get cut up really badly and broke after 4 single sets. So yeah to anyone that play with a lot of topspin this is really a string breaker combo.
     
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  46. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    No surprise to me. Switching the mains and crosses would be a much more durable combo. Right now I'm using Mono ZX mains with Gamma TNT2 crosses.
     
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  47. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Definitely not for string breakers. The Origin notched up but held together for me with very little string movement and the playability was as good/better than any multi. It's ideal for those "play 10 times per week and string once a year whether needed or not" players.

    For me (non string breaker) the the the 3x cost over my regular setup (M: rip control, X: Cyber Blue) is what kills this setup.
     
    #47
  48. SJSA

    SJSA Semi-Pro

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    I am considering to try a hybrid with MonoGut ZX Pro & Volkl Cyclone Tour 17g. Do you think CT in main is better than ZX Pro in main for this setup?
     
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