Why do people hybrid with gut in the mains

Discussion in 'Strings' started by puck1230, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. puck1230

    puck1230 New User

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    I've never tried this, and maybe if I did I'd understand better, but I don't understand why people choose to hybrid gut in the mains and poly in the crosses. What is the desired effect of gut in the mains and poly in the crosses that cannot otherwise be achieved with another combination? To me, it just "feels" counterintuitive since you're spending 20-30 dollars on a half set of gut where its primary playing characteristics are likely overshadowed by the choice of string in the mains.

    The uses cases that I can think of:

    1. Does the poly in the crosses stiffen up the gut? If so, why not use a synthetic that plays a little crisper than gut?
    2. Does poly in the crosses provide more "control" than an all-gut string bed? Can the same effect be produced by just increasing the tension of an all-gut string bed? If so, is the poly-gut hybrid an exercise in cost control?
    3. Does poly in the crosses somehow provide more spin than an all-gut string bed? If so, why does this happen?

    I'm not trying to be antagonistic, just wondering the reasoning behind the tactic before I plop down 20-30 dollars for a half set of gut to try it.

    Background on me: POG Mid with black genesis (52lbs) in the mains and whatever cheap synthetic I have lying around for my crosses (55lbs)

    Thanks
     
    #1
  2. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    Gut in the crosses are a waste because you dont get most of the playability of gut. The poly crosses add more spin and crispen up the gut in the mains. If you use a good synthetic gut cross, since it doesnt have the quality of gut (being soft at high tensions, good tension maintenance) it goes off in a few hours (i tried) but since gut holds its tension really good and if your not a string breaker, they string the mains with gut at 58 or so and string a poly at 54 or so, and when the poly dies they just restring the crosses.
     
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  3. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Gut in the crosses is a waste...the mains do most of the work.

    Gut mains and poly crosses provide lots of spin, feel, and comfort without being overly powerful. A woman who tried my Pure Storm strung with VS/CoFocus declared it was waaay too low powered for her and yet it's strung at low tension compared to most.
     
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  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Just to echo the 2 posters above me, gut in the crosses is not worth the minimal improvement. Poly crosses help to tame the power of the gut.
     
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  5. InfCross

    InfCross New User

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    With gut main and poly crosses u have:

    _ Controlled power, since the poly crosses not only "tames" a little the power of gut, it also allows the gut to slide and snap back into place, giving u a lot of spin. Gut main and poly crosses have a low coefficient of friction, which is related with spin production http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/COFreporter.php

    _ Gut feel, since ur main string provides most of the feel.

    _ Nice value stringbed (Really?) because gut lasts a lot if ur not a string breaker, and u can restring the crosses if u are careful when the poly loses tension http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=399862
     
    #5
  6. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    If you are an agressive player with a fast swing, low tension poly is a great choice. You can really take a big cut at the ball with confidence because of the spin/control you get from properly strung poly. So to take that a step further if you then add gut mains to the equation you add more power, more feel, more spin, and more all around fun. All this without sacrificing any control thanks to the low-tension poly crosses. That is it in a nutshell.

    If you try it you'll know. My reccomendation: Klip Legend 17g crossed with Solinco Revolution or Outlast 17g. $35 total for two stringjobs. I also recomend 53/45 but YMMV on that. In any event do the poly at least 5lb lower than the gut.
     
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  7. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    In addition to what has been stated, gut in the mains offers great tension maintenance allowing me to just cut out the poly crosses in 4 or 7 hours after polys become stiff or dead and retain playability.
     
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  8. puck1230

    puck1230 New User

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    Thanks to everyone for their replies. Looks like I need to give this a go to feel it for myself!
     
    #8
  9. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I wondered the same thing as the OP. Over the last few months I demoed several gut mains/poly crosses setups, then tried straight gut. The latter was simply too powerful, I kept hitting balls 2' past the baseline. And the gut seemed to wear faster than it would in a hybrid setup. And I was CONSTANTLY adjusting the strings.

    To me, the main benefits are like what's been said above:

    - tame the power of gut
    - with some poly crosses I get more spin than a full gut job
    - less string movement
    - seem to get better durability of the gut mains. I assume that's because there's less friction on the mains as they slide on the crosses.

    I use Pacific Classic, which is $27 and plays very nicely. So a half set is less than $15. Basically I'm getting a full setup for less than $20 a pop and I get most of the feel of gut but with more control and spin and durability. A lot to like about that.
     
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  10. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    I have never used gut before and just did a global/bhbr hybrid. I find less spin and a little too much power. Feel is nice though
     
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  11. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I agree with the posters above. Beside the points that they've already mentioned, there are quite a few reasons why you should use gut/poly:

    first of all, there are some research that backs gut(main)/poly hybrid as the highest spin potential setup. And poly/gut has least spin compared to full poly and gut/poly because gut crosses creates high sliding friction especially when it saw.

    second, the gut/poly lasts longer than full poly and poly/gut in terms of playability. mains do most of the actions in groundies. gut maintains tension better than any other string. so gut/poly last the longest before it goes dead (you probably would break it before it's dead).

    third, Federer and Djokovic use it, so should you!:twisted:
     
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  12. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    what tensions for each? and what is your normal tension/string?

    (guys, when you talk about strings it's kind of pointless unless you include tensions)
     
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  13. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    Strung it at 55/52. Normally use full bhbr at 50/52
     
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  14. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Wait, so you only cut out the poly crosses and re-string the crosses with fresh polys? :confused:

    This is my problem with polys crosses:

    I used to use a gut mains/poly crosses hybrid for a few months. The poly crosses will die within 4-6hours. The notion of cutting out perfectly good gut after 4-6hours sounded ridiculous to me, nor did I care for leaving/playing with dead polys in my frames. Playing with polys in the crosses is a moo-point to me. Like another poster said, crosses do next to nothing.

    Went back to the trusty Head RIP Control and have not messed my setup ever since. Gut mains/HEAD RIP Control crosses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
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  15. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    Would you say(in your opinion of course) that a cheap nylon or syngut would be effective with poly mains, as the poly does most of the work, or would a slicker string(such as full poly) be more effective?
     
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  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I think it depends on what you want to do with your frame. Whatever sensation you're trying to establish on impact, put that string in the cross. It'll get you that "crisper" or "softer" sensation.
     
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  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I've used full poly for a grand total of 4 games and probably won't ever use it again so it is hard to compare. The main string is responsible for most of the feel of the string bed.
     
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  18. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    probably a good tension starting point relative to your usual. If you still have half a set of each to try one more time you might try the poly down around 45-47, imo the lower poly tension will tame the power of the mains better. (works for me).

    Also I've heard Global is a bit sub-par. It may be that Gut isn't great in APD's I don't know if I've seen many Babolat users talk about gut.
     
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  19. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    Have you tried lubricating the strings? I found that the setup goes dead fast, not because the poly is dead. it's mostly because the increase in friction of the mains as it wears. Once lubricated, I think you'll be shocked how new it plays again.
     
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  20. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    That's not true among pros. Tsonga and clijsters use gut in babolat. I have heard global is decent as long as it doesn't break. I might try other half set as cross
     
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  21. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I haven't tried it but I don't think I'll ever venture into polys again. Because I don't use them on the mains, I won't ever see the true benefits of polys. But because they're still in my frame, I see the drawbacks of having a polys, and that is the overall stiffer feeling of polys.

    I hybrid gut because of economical reasons and taming the power. I can do that with Head RIP Control, and it's one of the better tension holder. If you get a reel of the stuff, it'll be cheaper than most polys out there :).

    Soft gut mixed with soft multi, I likey!
     
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  22. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    A lot of people use gut/poly because Fed made it fashionable.
    It plays nice, but do you really need it?
     
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  23. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I absolutely hate any poly beside Alu Power as crosses in sixone90s. I've tried quite a few. Always end up cutting them out as they simply don't compliment gut main well. So I've learned my lesson, stick with Alu power in a sixone90.

    I believe the benefits of Alu in crosses are 1. Low friction from the teflon. 2. the elasticity, which is more obvious with high power shots, of Alu power give this setup a much higher power compared to other poly. 3. nice stiff response in low power shots, giving the main a stiff and consistent base to slide on.

    As of the lubricant, man you gotta try it. it really revives the string bed! a good time to apply it is when you pull on your mains, they get stuck or semi stuck. that's when you know you should lubricate the mains.

    Note: I'm only talking about a sixone90 like blx90 here. I believe different racket require different string setup to take advantage of the frame. For me, gut/alu at 55/52 +/-1 in a blx90 is the best i've found so far.
     
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  24. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    Strictly in terms of using full gut for the benefit of avoiding tennis elbow, is full gut significantly better than gut main/poly cross for tennis elbow comfort control and avoidance?
     
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  25. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    Yes, absolutely. Pure gut is about as good as it gets for being arm friendly. Poly, even in the crosses, is going to present significantly more demand to your elbow than straight gut.
     
    #25
  26. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I've often wondered why more club/league players don't use full gut. It's so much easier on the arm than anything else. It maintains playability and holds tension better than any other string. I can use a full set of gut for about 6 months. I check my strings after I play, and I put in a string saver where I see a bad notch or fray. For people who don't break strings it can end up being more cost effective because you string less frequently. I understand that it can be very expensive if you are a string breaker, but string savers are a cheap way to lengthen the life of the string.
     
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  27. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I love the feel of a full bed of gut, but it's just a little too powerful for me. For me, doing a poly cross dampens the power a bit and gives me even better spin.

    Not a fan of stringing polys, though. At this point I'm looking for a good multi that gives me a comparable playing experience.
     
    #27
  28. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    But it also changes the feel of it. To me, having string savers on turn the stringbed into a boardy feeling stringbed.
     
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  29. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    Ditto.

    Just give me a multi cross with half of the gravity bending properties of poly and I'd be happy. And don't say RC.
     
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  30. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Polys and multis lose their playability so much faster than gut. You end up cutting out perfectly good gut mains with lots of playability left in them. If you can string yourself, you can cut the crosses out and re-string crosses only. But I doubt a stringer would do that for you.

    And I don't think string savers affect the string bed that much. They increase the tension slightly, but you can play with the strings to break them in and then add string savers.
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    2hare when does the ALU power die on you in this setup?

    I have always wanted to try this, but the price has been a turnoff for me.
     
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  32. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    According to the TW university study, gut mains with poly crosses provides the most spin. The power of the gut is fully utilized in spin production as it is allowed to stretch and then snap back by the slick poly crosses. You lose spin potential when the string stretches and then stops, ie the old nylon job where after every rally you see you strings are all over the place. That's lost energy.


    Doesn't sound like a waste to me to try gut mains and poly crosses. :)

    I use kevlar mains and poly crosses, and my strings never move. I'm not sure if this means they are moving and then snapping back or just not moving period, but I just like my strings to last and feel right, and this combo at around 50 lbs works for me.
     
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  33. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Who said Federer made it fashionable? If so many people said that then it must be easy to find quotes. I don't recall anyone on TT referencing Federer.

    I switched after reading TWU's voluminous research on the topic. I tried a bunch of their different low friction setups and found that it provides the best combination of comfort, spin potential, and control.

    Even different guts and poly crosses modify the feel significantly. When I use CoFocus crosses I get more comfort versus RPM Blast crosses which provide more control.

    Do I need it?

    Well, I don't NEED to play tennis.

    But I enjoy tennis and I enjoy playing tennis more with a gut/poly hybrid so why NOT use it if it feels better and works for my game?

    Cost isn't a factor since gut mains last longer than other mains and actually improve with age. They settle in and provide a very consistent playing experience over time.

    Rather than asking, do we need it, I think that in light of its comfort, spin, durability, and control the question is, why not use it?
     
    #33
  34. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Tim, doesnt the RPM die rather fast? Do you cut the crosses and just restring them?
     
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  35. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    I always wonder whether it's better to put the string savers on up front, or wait for fraying or notching to develop first.

    Fraying may be easy to see, but I wonder how you detect notching unless you move the string around a little bit. And when you see notching and fraying, isn't the damage done already?
     
    #35
  36. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    I've done it both ways. Now instead of starting off with string savers in a pre-set pattern I just wait unitl I notice the first signs of notch/fray and place them only as needed. After you've played with gut a few times it's pretty easy to see the early signs before it's too late.

    When I started off with a pattern of string savers (I used the Fed pattern but with one extra row of crosses as I use racquet with a larger head), it would help out but eventually I'd have to add a couple more savers right next to existing ones. That's when I think you can feel the effect of the savers in a negative way, i.e. the stringbed becoming too stiff in spots. If I just add them as needed I can keep them spread out enough that I don't feel them at all.
     
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  37. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I would say Alu in the crosses would last much longer compared to a full Alu setup as long as you keep the gut mains lubricated. Spins are mostly generated by the mains, so your gut main does most of the work. Usually when a setup "die", it's mostly due to the mains no longer able to snap back with good springing action to position. I usually break my gut main before this setup dies. And the playability of the setup remains to be quite high until it dies, unlike the steady declining feeling of full Alu.

    Keep the gut mains strung at least 3 pounds higher than alu crosses and in mid or low 50s, and keep them lubricated when necessary. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
    #37
  38. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    What do you lubricate the gut with? And how much to apply? How often?
     
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  39. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I've tried quite a few things, I ended up with a moisturiser I have at home. (Some moisturisers actually don't work as well, so test them out) and sometime Finger Ease for guitar strings (which is less effective and works for newer string jobs.) Both of these are non-toxic, that's why I'm using them.

    For moisturiser, apply generously at first and pull on the mains to make sure the contact points between strings are well coated underneath. Wipe off the excess on the strings or else it will grease up your tennis balls. (finger ease doesn't do so)

    note: I use Babolat's thermo gut polish to coat the strings before I lubricate them to keep the water out and protect the strings.
     
    #39
  40. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Right. With gut, you can see the notches. I like to play without string savers and let the gut break in. Then I add string savers to notches as I see them. After I've used the gut a couple of months, I add string savers to the sweet spot and it adds a little tension. But, I realize that I can do this because I'm not a string breaker and I like gut strung at a pretty low tension. A lot of people say it's too powerful. But if you have arm problems, you can get used to it. I never thought I'd like loose tension, but I do now. And my elbow appreciates it.
     
    #40
  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I too have wondered about this.

    I know people with crippling tennis elbow who have tried everything except gut. One lady in particular was telling me about her tennis elbow, and I asked her when she last strung. She said it had been a few years (!). I suggested she treat her strings like you would treat a pair of running shoes, she re-strung, and her elbow improved.

    Gut hybrid totally rocks. I use a hybrid with gut in the mains, and it has been awesome. I can get 9 months out of a hybrid string job, and the strings feel fine to me. I play with as much spin as I can muster, and the gut helps.
     
    #41
  42. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    So, even though so many pros use this hybrid combination, you really think there are no advantages whatsoever? And only drawbacks?

    Basically, a good poly (ALU) will alter the way your gut plays. Quite frankly it improves the gut's performance. It tames the gut's power. It improves spin considerably. Not to mention it just feels awesome.

    The only drawback is the cost of having to restring.
     
    #42
  43. Overheadsmash

    Overheadsmash Semi-Pro

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    I use Bab 15 Gut in the mains, and something like a Gamma Zo Twist or Lux Savage in the crosses in my main stick (TF 305 VO2 Max) and it works beautifully. Feels like gut, but with much more control and ball bite. Mikeler is right about the crosses taming the power - a full bed of gut was too powerful for me.
     
    #43
  44. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I've witnessed the same thing. People with bad tennis elbow and they don't know what kind of string or what tension is in their racquet.

    What are you using in the crosses? I've tried gut hybrids a couple of times, and I couldn't get as much spin as full gut. Maybe it's worth a try again.
     
    #44
  45. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    I have tried a range of string setups including full gut, hybrids with Gut in both the mains and crosses, poly's, syn. gut, multi's etc. When I tried the gut mains, poly crosses I found that there was a significant amount of string movement with this setup. I also found that there was very little spin and a lot of power. I have played with many setups and this was one of the most powerful setups I have played and did not find and noteworthy benefit from the setup. I would much prefer a full poly setup at low tensions. I'm sorry I just can't agree with what other posters have said about a gut mains poly cross setup.
     
    #45
  46. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    That's why there are so many different racquets and strings. Everyone is going to have their own preferences based on their particular game. For me I get more spin with gut/poly than with full poly. And obviously it is more powerful and feels so much better. So much will be dependant on type of game/swing and tensions too.

    It's worth trying once though imo at the very least. It's the only way to find out.
     
    #46
  47. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I can really care less about what the pros use. They're pros because of raw talent and hard work, not equipment.

    Feel is subjective, I like my stuff super soft so I don't care about the overall stiffness that comes with polys. I didn't see the spin because I put them on the crosses. It also didn't make sense to me to cut/re-string/play with dead polys after a few hours.
     
    #47
  48. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    So many things wrong with this statement. First, it's "I couldn't care less" because if you can care less, why don't you?

    Second, the pros get paid to play tennis, so we know they are aware of the best technology. I never said they were pros because of the equipment, but obviously they know what they're doing. They know what works.

    Third, polys changed tennis significantly. This isn't to be overlooked.

    But you admitted you're ignorant on the subject of this hybrid, having never used it. Then you go on to say there are no benefits to putting a poly in the cross, when there absolutely are.

    You're willing to like whatever you want, but your comments about this string combo are pure speculation, having never had experience with it.
     
    #48
  49. J_aces

    J_aces Semi-Pro

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    I completely agree though I still plan to try gut in the crosses but as a main it just doesn't feel right to me. Too soft and when I swing away the ball flies. Poly (particularly bhbr) just feels so much crisper and better. I may like added power from global gut in the crosses. It wont be a waste because it cost me less than bhbr. I wouldn't use vs as a cross
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm using Kirschbaum ProLine II, 17 gauge. No real reason. My pro recommended it, I tried it, I liked it. I don't think my game is so sensitive that the type of poly could possibly make a difference.

    One thing I did learn is to avoid Spiky Shark. It is octagonal shaped. I did a test where I strung one racket hybrid with Spiky Shark and the other hybrid with ProLine. The Spiky Shark broke much more quickly, as though the edges were digging into the gut.

    I would love more spin. I wonder if the price of gut would justify the extra spin. I swear, if I didn't hit with spin I would never win a match. Spin really messes people up.
     
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