Mamba Premium Natural Gut - Review

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Say Chi Sin Lo, May 8, 2012.

  1. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Mamba Premium Natural Gut - Review (Black version included!)

    So, I've had Mamba's Premium Natural Gut in my frames for a few days. By now, I have an idea of how they behave. All tension are reported after factoring the initial tension lost.

    I am comparing everything to Gaucho Classic. I haven't used those big daddy gut (babolat, wilson, klip).

    My old setup was Gaucho Classic 15L/Head RIP Control 16, 52/50

    Like I have previously mentioned in the Mamba tennis thread, Mamba Premium Natural Gut feels dry to the hand. They can be tricky to string because they're so dry, especially at the knots. They're so dry that the simple bending/twisting action of tying knots can cause cracks and unravel the strings. BUT, it's nothing a little lotion won't fix. I applied some lotion at the very end when I was tying the knot.

    Gauge was fairly consistent. Most of the inconsistency, if any, occurs on the ends of the strings. And they don't even go on the racquet. So who cares. Otherwise, they string onto the racquet without any problem, other than the excessive dryness.

    Let's get to how they play! They're natural gut, and play like it. The ball pocketing, touch, feel, comfort, and most of all, the POWER are all there.

    But holy crap, these strings are stupid powerful to me. Way more powerful than the Gaucho stuff. I was taken back by the power of these strings. At first I thought I was still cold and not swinging through the ball. But no, these strings are really powerful. Good or bad, that's for you to decide. For me, I don't like much power coming from my frames. Luckily these are gut, so I can up the tension without worrying much about the associated shock to my arm.

    I'm also in the middle of trying out some "soft" polys, so far I've strung up:

    1) Mamba premium gut 16/WeissCannon Silverstring 17, 52/46. Didn't care for it. Sort of glad it snapped on a framed shot.

    2) Mamba premium gut 16/Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17, 52/46. Not bad, not the worse thing if I was stuck with this setup.

    3) Mamba premium gut 16/Polystar Energy 17, 50/46. It felt awesome on impact, but then I had uncontrollable power with these tensions.

    Once I settle on the poly crosses, I will revisit the tension and power issue. I know I haven't hit with the brand name stuff, but these are scary powerful. You're probably wondering why I'm sticking with gut. I like everything BUT the power gut provides. And there are ways to go around the power issue.

    Finally, these strings seem to be able to withstand quite a bit of weather :). One of my hitting session was on a misty night. We stopped after 20-30mins because the lines got slippery, but surprisingly, the gut is not ruined! :twisted: But I wouldn't recommend you to hit longer than 30mins on a misty night with these gut.

    Can't comment on durability yet. I will update as I go through these strings and different poly crosses setup.

    To sum up, good quality gut with a ridiculous amount of power!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
    #1
  2. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the reviews. I'm probably going to try a Mamba gut setup in the next few weeks. It does sound a bit too powerful, but a poly cross should address that.

    If I were you, I would probably consider increasing the tension on the poly before going any higher with the gut. A 6 pound difference is already pretty high, and then you have to account for the fact that the poly will lose a lot more tension than the gut. 52 pounds is not abnormally high for poly but I probably wouldn't go past that. My limit would probably be 56/52.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
    #2
  3. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes..soft copoly cross like cofocus at 56 with the gut at 58 is the way I go...but I have a 100 size PDR and I believe OP uses a 90 so he can go lower.
     
    #3
  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Go above 52lbs on polys?! I don't know, that sounds like it'll hurt...
     
    #4
  5. BlxTennis

    BlxTennis Rookie

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    I strung up Supra Natural gut and it's not dry at all. In fact, kind of oily. Not sure if they coated the sting with oil or what. Unfortunately looks like I won't be able to play this week.
     
    #5
  6. drkplayer122

    drkplayer122 Rookie

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    The OP stung up the Premium Natty Gut not the Supra Gut.
     
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  7. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    I thought a hybrid with gut really helps with the shock a poly would normally have?

    I'm using a poly/multi hybrid right now and it's pretty comfortable at the moment.
     
    #7
  8. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I initially thought so too, until my arm started to disagree with me. I think Poly/Multi hybrids (with poly in the mains) are deceivingly rough on your arm. The poly could be dead but you don't realize it until it's too late. I'm not sure that's the case with hybrids where the poly is in the crosses. Gut/Poly hybrids seem to have a lot of fans who say it's still arm friendly even after the poly dies. Multi/Poly hybrids have a different solution to that problem; the multi breaks before the poly even has a chance to die.
     
    #8
  9. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    I agree. At the moment I'm watching ball placement to determine when to change my strings. If I feel that I have to swing harder/faster to place the ball deeper, I'm going to deem the poly(mains) as dead.
     
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  10. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It doesn't because it is cofocus and it will drop tension pretty fast initially.
     
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  11. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I do have a set of co-focus and I'll give it a try.
     
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  12. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Have you ever used pacific gut?I just wondered how the power compared..well I will find out soon, but the pacific does not break easily.

    Thing I love the gut/poly is that trajectory you get..it is very fed like for me at least..the ball dive bombs..that's the only way to put it.
     
    #12
  13. tripleWRECK

    tripleWRECK New User

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    Supra or Premium > PerformaXX?
     
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  14. drkplayer122

    drkplayer122 Rookie

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    OMG! I wish I read this before stringing the Natural gut up! I totally agree that it is very dry and can be a pain in the rear end when stringing. I will try the lotion trick the next time I string it up. I bet it will help the string just slide right by.
     
    #14
  15. ferrytran

    ferrytran New User

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    #15
  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Lotion helps a lot.

    If anyone is curious about their durability, right now I'm at about 15hours with the Mamba Premium Gut/Polystar Energy 17g, 50/46lbs.

    There's no fraying, no random unraveling. So far, I am very happy with Mamba Premium Gut.

    On a side note, I am loving Polystar Energy as a cross! :twisted: I've got a few more polys to try:

    MSV Co-Focus 1.18
    Tecnifibre X-Code 17
    SPPP 17
    Mamba Iontec 1.20

    Let's just say if I have to end my playtest now, I can stick with Polystar Energy as a cross.
     
    #16
  17. Will Wilson

    Will Wilson Rookie

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    What type of lotion is ok to use and how do you apply it?
     
    #17
  18. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Any lotion will do, it just needs a more lubricating surface for the strings to slide across each other when tying the knot.

    And you just run a little bit of lotion onto the surface of the gut.
     
    #18
  19. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    ~20hours!

    Update at ~20hours, I'm convinced enough to stock up!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sorry I don't have a macro lens, but here are some closeups.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That one string has been unraveling since it's been strung, and the loose end hasn't grown since. With the Gaucho stuff, if I saw a string unraveling, it'll keep unraveling and I knew a pre-mature rupture is a few hours away.

    I break a lot of strings. At 20 hours and still sitting pretty, that's just gravy on top! I'm very happy the durability of Mamba Premium Natural Gut.

    As for playability, I do not notice a drop as time goes by. Soft and comfortable, excellent pocketing, excellent feel, and apparently, excellent durability in my book.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
    #19
  20. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    What specific setup are you showing at 20 hours?
     
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  21. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    My apologies.

    3) Mamba premium gut 16/Polystar Energy 17, 50/46.

    Weisscannon Silverstring felt like crap to me, and it snapped on a shank. I will say that the shank was pretty epic.

    Tourna Big Hitter Silver was alright, nothing stood out.
     
    #21
  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    22hours and Kaboom!

    ~22 hours and they're done!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After it snapped, I played with the other frame strung with Premium Gut 16/Polystar Energy 17, 52/46. IT WAS PERFECT! :twisted:

    Now I'm going to cross it with MSV Co-Focus 1.18. I'm expecting great things from it.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
    #22
  23. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Mamba Premium Gut/MSV Co-Focus 1.18
    This set up plays VERY good. It's soft, but not as soft as Polystar Energy but it's not off by much. It is everything that people have raved about Co-Focus. If I have to describe it, it's a slightly crisper version of Polystar Energy but just as comfortable. This stringbed provided excellent touch and feel.

    Few notes, MSV Co-Focus was not pleasant to string at all. I don't know why but they did not want to be weaved through the mains. Also, people said it sounds like I'm hitting with a bat.

    Mamba Premium Gut/Mamba Iontec 1.20
    There are a lot buzz about Mamba Iontec lately, and I can see why. As a cross, Iontec provides a very soft string bed, on par with Polystar Energy.

    Mamba Premium Gut/Signum Pro Poly Plasma 17
    It's not the worst stringbed ever, but it's not to my liking. It's not as soft as Polystar Energy, Mamba Iontec, and MSV Co-Focus.
     
    #23
  24. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I played a match today with Mamba Premium Gut 1.30 / Iontec 1.25 strung at 50/50 on my dropweight machine, which came out to a stringbed tension of 52.8 on RacquetTune with calibrated string factors. I think that's about the equivalent of 53/53 on a lockout machine. My normal setup is Discho Microfibre strung at 50 on my dropweight machine, but it comes out to 56.2 on RacquetTune, so it's about a 56 on a lockout (differences are probably due to elongation).

    No full multi that I know of approaches this setup when it comes to spin. However, I think the extra power is throwing me off a bit. Shots that I know would have easily been in with my regular setup went long. When I prepare properly and hit a topspin drive, the spin generally keeps the ball in, but reflex shots and defensive shots, where I don't have time to prepare properly, are going out more often than they do with my regular setup. At the same time, the stringbed tension may be a bit high for me. Dwell time and forgiveness on off-center hits do not seem to be as good as my regular setup. Maybe I need to decrease the tension on the poly for better dwell time and more "give" and increase the tension on the gut for less power? If I do, I'm a little concerned about the difference in tension between mains and crosses after the poly crosses lose tension. I can already tell that the tension loss of the poly is a factor as I test the tension on a daily basis.

    I can see that gut/poly has potential. There's no other way for me to get this combination of spin and arm-friendliness. However, it's not giving me the kind of confidence I need to take full swings like I do with Discho Microfibre or Prince Premier Attack. I find myself hitting too many "safe" shots. I might have to experiment with different tensions, and possibly different strings that are less powerful. Another thing I might try is a full set of Mamba Premium Gut at a higher tension.
     
    #24
  25. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    on a related note....how does Mamba Supra compare to Premium?
     
    #25
  26. heartattack

    heartattack Semi-Pro

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    did u try 54 gut/ 52 iontec?
     
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  27. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    No, but my guess is it won't be much different from 53/53. Maybe I'll aim for 54/50 or 56/52 next time.
     
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  28. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I don't think you can string two strings at different tensions, and then assume the stringbed to play like the average of the two tensions.

    54lbs gut will play like 54lbs gut, with its own unique attributes.
    52lbs polys will play like 52lbs polys, with its own unique attributes.
     
    #28
  29. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    So you're saying 54 gut is much different from 53 gut, and 52 poly is much different from 53 poly? Maybe 2 or 3 pounds will be different, but I think 1 pound is splitting hairs.
     
    #29
  30. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    How about some pics? Thanks.
     
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  31. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    No I'm saying I don't think you can simply string two different strings at two different tensions, take the average of the two, and then assume the individual strings are playing at that averaged tension.

    54 gut and 53 gut may be hard to tell. BUT, I could tell the difference between my 50 gut and 52 gut.

    50 Mamba Premium gut played like a rocket launcher, 52 Mamba Premium gut is just perfect for me. Sensitivity is really on you.
     
    #31
  32. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I forgot to mention, last week I tried the Mamba Premium/Iontec setup at a lower tension: 44/44 on my dropweight, which measured at 47.7 on RacquetTune, so it would probably equate to 48/48 on a lockout.

    I only hit with it this way for a short time. I compared it head to head with Discho Microfibre. Spin was even greater than at the higher tension, but so was power. The forgiveness on off-center hits was not as good as the full multi. My serves were incredible with this setup, but I cut it out to try the higher tension because it was just too powerful.

    If I do keep trying gut/poly, I'll probably go with less tension on the poly and more on the gut. I think I'll want a more elastic poly and a less powerful gut. Maybe Supra gut? It would interesting to hear from anyone who compared Premium to Supra. I might also try Iontec Black.
     
    #32
  33. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    That is my concern with gut/poly setups. The added power is great on serves but I play a lot of big hitters and on defensive shots I want that added control.
     
    #33
  34. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    It's not just the defensive shots. Somehow it doesn't give me the confidence to hit as aggressively as I do with full multi. Maybe full gut at higher tension would work. Poly/Multi worked for me in the past, and I'm sure it would work now, but I'm afraid of what it would do to my arm.
     
    #34
  35. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It takes a little time and practice but I hit every shot better now with gut/poly. I can hit far more aggressively and flatten out shots as well..this is using a pure drive roddick. I string higher though..mid 50s. I think 50 is too low initially. I would rather have the stringbed settle in there.

    I also would not just go out and play a match with gut/poly. You need to spend a week or so getting used to it, but you can hit every shot in the book with it..defensive..flat..it doesn't matter. Far more versatile to me and I actually have become a lot better at net as well.
     
    #35
  36. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    What's your gut/poly setup right now? How high do you string, and what kind of machine do you string with?
     
    #36
  37. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I use a constant pull and string in the mid 50s. I use cofocus and right now have Supra gut in there. I string both at 56#s since cofocus is real elastic and drops tension. I end up with a stringbed in the low 50s, which sounds like a trampoline, but I have learned to control that and use it to my advantage.

    I talked with a teaching pro about this, and he was saying a ton of pros use this setup now because of how relaxed and flowing you can hit the ball. That is what I needed to cut down on UEs because I tend to swing too hard. There is a difference between swinging too hard and racquet head speed though. He was also saying that this is a perfect way to hit really hard and heavy shots and save your arm in the process.

    I think it also helps to have a heavier racquet to give you some power too. I went with the PDR with some lead for that reason.
     
    #37
  38. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Here you go.

    Mamba Premium Natural Gut 16g/Mamba Iontec 1.20, 52/46
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mamba Premium Natural Gut 16g/SPPP 17, 52/46
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The MSV Co-Focus 1.18 snapped on me, so no pictures of that setup at the moment.
     
    #38
  39. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    You might be right. I was hitting much better with it today at a practice session, where I don't have to worry about winning points, just hitting a good ball. I'm actually getting to like this setup. I returned some shots I wouldn't have gotten back otherwise because of the extra power, and I was generally getting my shots in when I prepared properly. I could get used to this. I'll give it more time.
     
    #39
  40. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. Nice pics.
     
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  41. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    Aprreciate the review, but I think ANY gut review needs to be in comparison to the benchmark gut, VS (or Wilson). If you are comparing power levels and comfort between two lower shelf guts there's still not much for me to learn from that without referencing the "control" string. You owe it to yourself to splurge at least once on the good stuff just so you know for yourself too.

    When I switched to gut I started with VS so I'd have that reference point for when I tried others.
     
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  42. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure Babolat and Wilson will agree with you, but I don't. If all varieties of VS gut were taken off the shelves tomorrow, guess what? The world would still be the same, only we'd be playing with other manufacturer's strings. By its very nature even VS gut won't be as consistent as a synthetic string because every cow's DNA is different.
     
    #42
  43. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    I think the vast majority of players will tell you that VS/Wilson is the best gut. Sure if they disappear people will play other brands, but that's not relevant to my point. That string is the established benchmark gut by which all others are measured. I'm not arguing whether it is or isn't actually better than the rest, but when communicating about other brands it is helpful to have a single reference point, and like it or not, VS/wilson is it.
     
    #43
  44. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    When hybridding gut with poly, I always string the gut 4-5 lbs higher than the poly. General opinion is a 5 lb differential will not damage the frame. TW will not string higher than a 5 lb differential between crosses and mains. I have done this for years with no discernable harm to my frames. I mostly string moderate tensions 55 lb mains with 50 crosses or a couple of lbs lower on each in the colder months or with stiffer strings.

    Gut mains 54 with poly cross at 50 is probably a good place to start. I take the same approach with multi mains and poly crosses and use similar tensions.
     
    #44
  45. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    There may be some truth to that if you are comparing strings that cost over $35. If I was considering Pacific Prime or Tough Gut I might want to compare it to VS. However, when you're talking about $15-22/set the relevance a string that costs over $40 is questionable.
     
    #45
  46. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm actually considering something like that, but I want to find a good tension maintaining poly before I do that. If Iontec keeps holding, I might try it again with a tension difference. 4 lbs difference doesn't seem like much to me, either, but by the time gut loses 8-10% and a poly loses 30%, you're now looking at about 50/35, and that scares me. The tension loss won't be a concern to a pro for obvious reasons, but it is relevant for those of us who are going to use the same setup for more than one match.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
    #46
  47. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    except that in describing the characteristics of a string it still provides a known reference. Case in point, the OP says "wow Mamba is maybe TOO powerful, compared to Goucho." Well, I have no experience with either one of those strings so I still have absolutely no idea of the power level of Mamba.
     
    #47
  48. tennisinoc

    tennisinoc Semi-Pro

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    This is also my concern as per our other Mamba Tennis thread.
     
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  49. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you hybrid with supra gut and a softer poly like Cofocus, just string at 56#s for both. Your tension will drop to around 51#s and it will play great.
     
    #49
  50. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    That could be why mamba recommends 54/52 with gut/iontec hybrid
     
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