Pacific Tough Gut - really tough

Discussion in 'Strings' started by maxpotapov, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I'm play testing Pacific Tough Gut 16 crossed with WC Mosquito Bite Red at 50/50 lbs in Prestige LM Mid, and from 2 hours of hard hitting I can tell it will be tough to break. No signs of notching, only a slight wear on the surface of both gut and poly strings. But it performs as a very low powered, control oriented setup, which is surprising for natural gut/poly setup at 50 lbs. I think for such a dense string pattern, Pacific Tough Gut may be safely strung at low 40s. I hope it will break in and become more energetic, as Prestige LM Mid can definitely use some help from the stringbed in terms of power. My sore shoulder could use some help too.
     
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    2 hours and you're seeing signs of wear in a 18x20? That doesn't seem "tough"...
     
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  3. Ramon

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    A "slight wear on the surface" describes how Klip Legend and Pacific Classic looked after the first hitting session for me. Legend lasted me 30 hours and Classic is on 14 hours and counting (I thought it would break sooner, but it stubbornly holds on).
     
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  4. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    2 hours for gut? That sounds tough. Pacific Classic is well on its way to a hairy mess after 2 hours for me.
     
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  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Pacific says, or used to say that their gut could be strung looser because it was stiffer. I have always had good luck with their gut and find the wear to be as you described. If you really want to extend the life of the string, after you play, do a little preventative maintenance and install string savers where ever you see wear.
     
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  6. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I knew that, that's why I had it strung at 50 lbs, but now I think I should go for 44 lbs. But we'll see how it plays after break-in period.

    I have Babolat stringsavers, but not sure if I want to use them 'cause the stringbed is tough enough on my arm.
     
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  7. UCSF2012

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    The power level will be mostly dependent on how tightly you string the poly crosses. If you want more power, lower the poly 1-2 lbs. When you understring the tough gut and keep the poly the same, the feeling is pure awkward. Very mushy. I've tried it, and I don't like it one bit.
     
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  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I've got ToughGut in a couple of my Prestige Pros. They are strung in the mains with poly crosses. After a couple of months, the ToughGut looks as good as new. I put stringsavers in along the edges of the stringbed as the poly loses tension to make up for the tension loss, but not in the center of the stringbed. I'm not the biggest stringbreaker, but I haven't ever had a stringbed look this pristine after so many hours of hitting.
     
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  9. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Tough Gut can be tough if you got it from a good batch.

    The problem with Pacific, the way I see it, is quality control. Sometimes you can get sets that snap on you prematurely or even sitting in the bag over night.

    I suppose that could happen with any manufacturer, but in my experience, Babolat has been the most consistent in terms of QC.
     
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  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    You may want to consider omitting the poly and stringing a multi next time int eh crosses.
     
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  11. JT_2eighty

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    Pacific Tough Gut has been my gut of choice, in fact my main setup (crossed with various polys) for a few years now.

    In an 18x20 (midplus for me), it is extremely durable. I have compared it to a few other guts, like VS, Tonic+, Pacific Prime & Classic.

    Tough, on multiple occasions, in both 16L and 17 gauge, and over the course of what must be numerous batches (having used the string for a couple years), has outlasted the other guts by a longshot. In some cases 2x-3x the durability/longevity of the other guts.

    It is, however, a bit stiffer than the PPrime and of course VS, but still softer than any multi, with way more control than any multi or gut.

    Honestly, for a mid to midplus, you can use 17 or if you are a big string breaker, the 16L. The 17 is definitely the most powerful gauge, with impeccable feel. 16L will provide a stable balance of control, power and feel. 16 I have not tried, as I prefer thinner gauges in the Pro Tour 280 MP.

    I know some people gripe that Pacific can have less consistent QC than Babolat, but I guess I've been lucky over the years. I think as you move up their product ladder, the QC tends to be better: Prime is on par with VS, Tough is close, Classic is the one with more issues (basically Pacific's "tonic")
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
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  12. JT_2eighty

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    It should break in nicely for you. Pacific Tough does have an initial break-in phase where it will seem too stiff for an hour or more. After about 2-4 hours (depending on how hard/often you hit), it will settle in for you. I've found that lowering poly crosses 3lbs from the gut mains help to reduce break-in phase.

    Also, great choice on the cross. You are basically using my go-to setup, although I use the 16L TG / WC MB (blue). In my MP, 52/49 has been too good to beat.


    [​IMG]
    ^about 4-5 matches in with Tough Gut 16L mains / mosquito bite cross
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
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  13. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Does this differential deform racquet head at all? I'm OK with extra hour of break-in, but I can not tolerate irregular shape due to mains/crosses differences.
     
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  14. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I still have Ashaway MonoGut ZX 16 to try before I go to multi crosses. For some reason very little information on that string, so I bought it to try in crosses and mains.
     
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  15. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Well it's not crisp or lively, that's for sure. I thought the poly will lose tension more than gut anyway, but maybe extra 1-2 lbs would help...
     
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  16. JT_2eighty

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    I have no deformation with the 52/49 setup, and my racquet is very flexible and susceptible to deformation. I've experimented with larger differentials and have had deformation, which takes a good 6+ pounds of difference for that to happen.

    Next time just try a 1-2 pound drop before jumping any further. It may help.
     
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  17. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    You must be lucky or I got two bad sets of ToughGut and Prime as both sets definitely felt inferior in terms of QC. When I pulled them through the grommets, some of the strings definitely felt uneven which I never had any issues with VS.

    They are one of the longer lasting gut but they did not feel as soft and elastic as the original VS and at the current price, for me, I rather go with X1 Biphase instead.
     
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  18. fortun8son

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    The Zyex Monogut looks very interesting.
    I look forward to your review.
     
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  19. corners

    corners Legend

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    The most important info on Monogut ZX is that zyex is the only string material other than natural gut to not increases in stiffness at higher tensions. Monogut ZX is about 10-15% stiffer than natural gut, and only about 60% as stiff as the softest copolys. So I would string accordingly: as a cross with gut mains I would string both the gut mains and the ZX crosses tighter than you would with gut/copoly. The cool thing is that even if you bump up the tension by 10 pounds the gut/ZX will still produce a faster shot than gut/copoly because the dynamic stiffness of both the gut and the zyex will stay pretty much constant as you increase in tension. But the strings will deflect less at higher tensions, so you will have more control and a more consistent shot-to-shot response.

    Monogut ZX would also be very interesting as a gut replacement in a gut/copoly setup. It does not have quite the energy return of natural gut, but if strung 5 pounds tighter I think ZX/copoly would be worth a punt.

    Perhaps even better would be as a cross with a shaped copoly main. ZX is much less stiff and also slippier than any multi, so it should excel as a cross with copoly mains.

    Sorry to barge in with the unsolicited advice!
     
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  20. JT_2eighty

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    ^^ well, thanks... now I want to try Monogut zx! Just when I thought I was 'done' testing new strings, :/
     
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  21. JT_2eighty

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    Pacific guts are definitely not as soft as VS. Personally that fits my needs, as I can string Pacific low 50s to match my preferred tension for poly (48-50lb). With VS, I couldn't get good control if I dropped below 60 pounds, and then with poly crosses would have needed to keep them close (within 1-3 pounds to avoid deformation), and a 57+ lb pound poly in my tight stringbed just isn't my cup of tea.

    It's not for everyone, but I think they are great with poly in the low 50 range, especially for mid to mp users with dense 18x20s.
     
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  22. corners

    corners Legend

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    Sorry mate! :)
     
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  23. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I still have half a set of WC B5E somewhere, I'll use it as a cross for Zyex. Something tells me that Zyex mains will not snap back, but it's just a gut feeling :)

    Wait, you meant shaped poly mains, now it makes sense! I will use Black Widow then
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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  24. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    If your stringing machine has a semi-decent mounting system, you can go 10 lbs lower on the poly than on gut and not see deformation. Polys are just that much stiffer.

    I should add that I am talking about VS mains and poly crosses, not the other way around.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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  25. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Two weeks later I had another light hitting session with Pacific Tough Gut / WC Mosquito Bite in Prestige LM Mid. It now feels more like normal natural gut / poly, not too lively/powerful but initial "toughness" is now gone. Serve was accurate and effortless, with no ill effects on my shoulder. It is good to know that stringbed helps to launch the ball in a controllable way.
     
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  26. Muppet

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    Something just occured to me. If you have a large differential between main/cross, would it help to leave your racquet mounted overnight to allow the tensions to drop and equalize? (I'm probably not the first to think of this.)
     
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  27. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    No, definitely not. Using a stringing machine to attempt to compensate for this is not recommended at all.
     
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  28. Muppet

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    Okay, Rabbit. I won't attempt it. Thanks for the advice.
     
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  29. JT_2eighty

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    I've tried a larger difference in tension, and I just didn't like the feel. Also, in my very flexible frame, deformation did start to occur over time as the poly lost tension and the gut held strong. The head almost went completely circular, so I don't mess with that anymore on my old sticks.

    I have also tried a 20-lb differential on the stiffer YTPP, and it did not deform. I think modern sticks are much more resistant to the deformation issue, but older flexy frame do not respond well to a high difference, so I just stick with a 2-3 pound difference, and 52/49 has been great to me with Pacific Tough all the way.
     
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  30. maxpotapov

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    Next two hours on my Tough Gut / WC Mosquito Bite setup. No fraying or notching on the gut and not even a dent on poly! And it feels plush, very arm-protective even on poorly executed shots where syn gut/poly would severely punish me. And thin red crosses look really good in my Prestige Mid

    It's funny how top spin shots are seemingly flying out and then suddenly dip into the court at the last moment. My opponent said it was dumb luck, but I was lucky many more than once yesterday :)
     
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  31. ASH1485

    ASH1485 Semi-Pro

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    i will be stringing Pacific Tough gut as mains and Alu power as crosses in my Vcore 89, what tensions shall i go with here ?

    i see people here talking low 50s for the tough gut
     
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  32. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I would not go higher than 50 lbs for the Tough Gut, especially in a mid sized frame. Like I said before, it may feel rather tough on your arm the first few hours, even at 50 lbs. But after break-in it becomes springy while retaining great sense of control.
     
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  33. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    You should specify the gauge

    You should specify the gauge when making a recommendation as above
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
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  34. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I mean 16L
    What tension would you recommend?
     
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  35. ASH1485

    ASH1485 Semi-Pro

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    the sets i have are 16
     
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  36. ASH1485

    ASH1485 Semi-Pro

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    i play tested the tough gut on my vcore 89 strung " 50 , i liked the playability and performance of the strings. they felt a bit rough for a natural gut but that doesnt mean that its not soft. will try it next in a hybrid.
    in my opinion it should cost less than 38$, i would personally add 4$ more and get the Babolat VS
     
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  37. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Wait till it breaks in, it will play a lot nicer.
    Price difference with Babolat VS can be much greater if you take into consideration durability.
    Besides, people complain that BT7 version of Babolat VS plays a lot harsher, than it used to. Personally I would try Wilson Natural Gut 16 next...
     
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  38. JT_2eighty

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    Yea, a few months ago, Pacific raised their prices.

    Their guts used to price at $29, $35 & $38.95; for classic, tough and prime, respectively. Recently they bumped everything up so that Prime is level is VS, and on down. The old prices made Pacific, IMHO, the best price/performance gut you can find. The new prices do make VS look more 'reasonable', if it weren't for the introduction of BT7 that has pushed many gut loyalists to other brands.

    I'm still working through my stock of Tough that I found elsewhere for $31 a set... and boy am I nursing it the best I can! Hybriding helps keep the strings alive, & string savers, refreshing the crosses, etc., ...
     
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  39. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    So, it seems that you don't enjoy full bed Tough as much as in a hybrid setup...Can you tell us the pros and cons of both setups? also, when you said "hybriding helps keep the strings alive", could you say a bit more about it?.....how long does the aliveness last for in your experience? thanks
     
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  40. JT_2eighty

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    Based on my testing of Tough, Prime, Classic & VS...

    Pros of full gut: feel, power, comfort & touch. By far, natural gut is amazing in a full bed for those seeking maximum comfort, power and ball-feel. The pocketing of gut is unmatched by any string, it is the most elastic string material, especially when strung in the 60-plus range, control should not be an issue, but a full gut setup lends itself better to certain frames than others.

    Cons of full gut: durability, cost and when compared to any setup that incorporates poly, less spin too. Control can be an issue for some, especially using oversized and/or high stiffness, high power, & very open patterned racquets. Generally speaking, the stiffer and more open your string pattern, the more power, less control and less durability you will get from gut.

    Pros of Gut/Poly: spin, control, and second place to full gut for feel & power (unless using very stiff polys). Comfort drops when any poly is introduced, but control and spin definitely become easier to manage, as those poly crosses help 'tame' the power of your gut mains. Also, the gut mains still impart a great deal of feel and playability, overall. This can depend on which cross you use: ALU will greatly add to control and spin capabilities while seriously diminishing the comfort and feel, while a very soft poly like WC MB will allow the feel and power of the gut to still be felt as much as possible. Using a soft poly, for me, allows for the added control and spin of poly crosses, with the least impact to overall feel of the gut mains. Heavier hitters will prefer a stiffer ALU-like string as it will simulate the feel of full poly, with solid control and some added power & feel from the gut mains.

    Cons of Gut/Poly: durability (for some)...for those using open string patterns- you may not get good durability, but for dense pattern mid to midplus users, this may not be an issue. Playability over time can be non-linear, while a full gut holds strong for the duration, incorporating co-polys which are known to be fast-dying strings can add a feature to your stringbed that some will not like: changing playability over time (loss of control, loss of feel, etc). Personally, I have a hard time listing any "big" negative features. It is my preferred setup, so I do truly find it to bring the best features of both gut and poly together. If you have any arm issues, comfort will be a factor, as even poly in the crosses to gut will still transmit more shock to the arm than a full gut or full multi.

    See durability thoughts below:


    In my trials with Tough Gut 16L in a full bed, it lasted about 11 hours of court time (singles match play @ 4.5 level), in a dense, 18x20 midplus. I've also tried Prime 17 and Classic 17 in full beds, which lasted 11.5 hours and 5.5 hours, respectively. As a reference, using the old 'pre-BT7' VS 17 in a full bed lasted me 7.5 hours.

    While my trials are not exactly 'scientific' or fool-proof (as I only tried each of these strings once in a full bed, cost being a big factor), I have since been on a hybrid testing 'rampage' if you will. With Tough Gut coming in at the best price/performance of the 4 above, I chose Tough Gut 16L to be my go-to main, and have continually been experimenting with every cross that peaks my interest.

    On average, Tough Gut 16L crossed with most polys in 16L to 17 gauge, survives for 20-30 hours before breaking or going completely dead, for me in the dense, flexy PT280 18x20.

    The key, imho, is that coupling a smooth & slick poly cross to natural gut allows the gut to slide across the strings with less friction, thereby preventing notching that occurs in a gut on gut stringbed. Much like a full syn gut or full multi starts to notch and fray upon itself over time, Gut/Poly frays over time, but without the destructive notching from 'sticking together' you would similarly get with full syn or multi. Even after 20+ hours, my gut mains never require re-straightening or adjusting. So my search has been to find a poly that remains consistent as long as possible. So far, WC MB is that cross.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  41. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Does it ever go completely dead? I understand, poly loses playability over time, but would it affect natural gut mains that much?

    20 hours with Mosquito Bite crosses would be excellent for me! Like $1.5 per hour for a stringbed. Anything extra is a bonus, unless it goes "completely dead" as you say.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  42. JT_2eighty

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    For me, MB never went 'dead', or if it did, it wasn't in a bad way. It kept its great feel for at least 20 hours, then I stopped counting, and even let it sit dormant for a few months while trying other setups, and now using it again after those other tests came and went, and it still plays great; lively and comfy and still very controllable.


    other notable tests:


    MSV Co-focus 1.27 was also comfy, but after about 13 hours became too powerful. Focus Hex 1.23, on the other hand, felt lifeless after 5 hours and was never as soft.

    Tourna BHB 17 went dead (stiff as a brick) in just 3 matches (about 4.5 hours). It was amazing when fresh though (like many usually are).

    Lux ALU 16L seemed to last better than BHB, although stiffer to begin with, but held tension well for at least 9 hours, before control became erratic. There were a couple matches I couldn't seem to miss with this setup.

    Currently testing Lux M2 1.25, definitely a softer offering from Luxilon, and enjoyable test so far. Great controlled power, nice spin, and responsive feedback.
     
    #42
  43. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for your answer JT, I forgot to ask you...
    Do you pre-stretch gut?
     
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  44. maxpotapov

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    Thanks for your input! It's good that I don't have to experiment as much as you did, and just stay with Mosquito Bite. I really like the way it looks and the way it plays, and it's amazing that it did not dent so far. Even though other polys can perform even better when fresh, I don't feel like cutting natural gut out just because poly crosses became lifeless, hard as a brick or too powerful/erratic. And did I mention Mosquito Bite is thin and red? :)
     
    #44
  45. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Please see a related post-a full bed ONLY

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=7084208&posted=1#post7084208
    post #4375
     
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  46. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    #46
  47. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    How long is a break-in?

    How long is a break-in?
     
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  48. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    2-3 hours of moderate to heavy hitting
    this is when initial toughness is going away
    but most comfort starts with hour 5 I guess
     
    #48
  49. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I just strung 1 racket with Tough Gut 16, and 1 with Klip Legend 16. The Tough Gut seemed about a gauge thinner. I really like the deep copper color though.
     
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