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-   -   Mid Level Gut Playtest (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=450710)

McLovin 01-12-2013 02:47 PM

Mid Level Gut Playtest
 
Intro:

I've been hitting with gut mains / poly crosses for over 5 years now. I've tried many different combinations and tensions over the years, but for the past 6 months have used Pacific Classic @ 54lbs / MSV Co. Focus crosses at 52lbs. Because I am frugal, my gut choices lean towards the cheaper, mid-range brands (i.e. $25 -> $30).

Perusing the TW site, I noticed a few new additions to their Gut offerings:
  • KLIP Legend Tour
  • KLIP Armour Pro
  • Boris Becker Hero
I realize the Becker Hero has been around for a while, but for some reason I've never tried it.

Having a $60 credit at TW, I decided to use it towards a gut/poly playtest. To be clear, this is a playtest of mid-range gut ($25 -> $32), crossed with MSV Co. Focus, not a test of 'which gut/poly combo is the best'. Co. Focus was used because that is my current poly cross, and I only wanted to change one variable: the gut.

All racquets were strung by me at 54lbs for the gut mains, 52lbs for the poly crosses, using my Alpha Revo 4000 + Wise 2086:



The Pacific and both KLIP guts are 17g. The Becker Hero is 16L because that was all they offered. For the record, I omitted the Babolat Tonic + because it only came in 16g. I prefer thinner gauge gut.

Because I only have 3 frames, my first test included KLIP Legend Tour, KLIP Armour Pro, and Pacific Classic as my 'baseline':



For the record, I'm a 44yr old 4.5 rated player who plays predominantly from the baseline (along the lines of a Ferrer or Baghdatis). In case anyone cares, I've hit with a few members here (mikeler, downs_chris, auzzieism) who can vouch for my level.

EDIT: Here are quick links to the reviews:

KLIP Armour Pro:
Part 1
Part 2
KLIP Legend Tour:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Pacific Classic:
Part 1

McLovin 01-12-2013 02:48 PM

KLIP Armour Pro:

Stringing: This was the easiest to string of all the guts. Barely any coil memory, which resulted in almost a 0% chance of kinking it. The poly crosses slid along effortlessly. So much so that during the stringing, I felt as if I was stringing full poly. Tension right off the machine was spot-on:



Initial Hit: My first hit wasn't pleasant. There was a distinctive 'ping' when hitting, and I couldn't get it out of my mind that I was playing full poly. Serves seemed OK, but ground strokes felt like I was lacking serious power. There was practically no feel on the volleys. I only played 1 set of doubles with it, but was not impressed at all. I put it back in the bag, thinking maybe it just needed a while to settle. Tension immediately after 1 hit:



The next day, I took another reading, just to see how it settled:


McLovin 01-12-2013 02:48 PM

KLIP Armour Pro: (continued)

Second Hit:: My second hit with this string was singles against a hard hitting Del Potro style player. I had hoped the drop in tension would be beneficial to both the feel and the power. Wow, was I wrong. Again, this string plays nothing like gut. If I had to give it a tagline, it would be 'Poly feel, but at the price of Gut'. It was almost impossible to generate any power off the ground, which is hard to believe since my opponent likes to serve ~ 120MPH, followed by a huge forehand. This usually gives me plenty of power to feed off.

I was able to get some good pop on my serve, but I quickly realized it was because I was swinging about as hard as I could. This seriously affected my arm/shoulder strength after just 4 games. Spin was OK, but feel was almost non existent. My arm & shoulder began to hurt after just 1 set, something that has never happened with any gut/poly combination in the past. Here's the tension after the 2nd hit:



Durability: I'm sure this string will last a long time, but I won't know because it is about to be cut out of my frame as I type this. The coating rubs off after just two sets, as you can see from this photo:



Conclusion: IMO, not worth the money, even at half the price. It strings like poly, feels like poly, plays like poly, and probably has the durability of poly. So why spend $32 for it? Not sure where KLIP was going with this, but I don't like it.

McLovin 01-12-2013 03:13 PM

KLIP Legend Tour:

Stringing: The coating on this made it easier to string that normal KLIP Legend. Like Armour Pro, it had barely any coil memory and the poly crosses slid along effortlessly. Not as smooth as the Armour Pro, but more so than Pacific Classic. Again, tension right off the machine was spot-on:



Initial Hit: The first hit with this was more promising that the Armour Pro. There was still a distinctive 'ping' when hitting, but it went away after the first 30 seconds. Serves were real nice: plenty of power and spin, and I had no problem holding during the doubles match. I don't serve huge (I'm only 5ft 9in), but like to move it around the box, and the string responded nicely. Volleys were also solid: good feel & control. My returns were solid, dipping when I needed it, and driving deep when I needed it. Tension immediately after 1 hit:



The next day, I took another reading, just to see how it settled:


McLovin 01-12-2013 03:14 PM

KLIP Legend Tour: (continued)

Second Hit:: My second hit with this string was singles against the same player I hit against with the Armour Pro. In fact, it was the 2nd set of our match after I had pretty much shredded my shoulder with the Armour Pro.

I was looking forward to hitting with this string after my doubles match. It was very promising, especially since I've used regular KLIP Legend in the past and found it so-so. Even with my shoulder as tired as it was, I noticed an increase in power & spin right away. Serves popped off just they had in the doubles match. Ground strokes had more depth, spin and power. But the most significant change was the feel. It felt like I was hitting with gut again. Here's the tension after the 2nd hit:



Durability: This one I will play with a few more times in the coming weeks & will keep updating as I go. I likely won't get the full idea of durability as I normally don't play until the string breaks (unless its clay), but can at least compare the notching to my Pacific Classic setup. Like the Armour Pro, the coating rubs off after just two sets, as you can see from this photo:



Conclusion: This is a viable alternative to Pacific Classic, which on occasion has been on backorder. It costs the same as Classic ($29.95), plus, you get a cool color in black. I will likely hold on to the 2nd half of the set until spring and try it on clay to see what its true durability is.

mikeler 01-12-2013 05:28 PM

Interesting stuff. LIke you, I was not very impressed with regular Klip Legend.

Say Chi Sin Lo 01-12-2013 05:46 PM

I'm curious if you will be including Pacific Classic and Klip Legend (non-tour version) in future reviews?

I'm interested in those two strings. I've gathered some information scattered around the forum, so feel free to correct and contribute if you can!

Klip Legend and Pacific Classic are both on the crisp side:

Klip Legend - Crispest of all gut, plus for Klip Legend is that, it comes in 15L.
Pacific Classic - Not as crisp, but still crisp, and there is a break-in period? (Not a fan of that...)

If you've played with the non-Tour Klip Legend, how do you think it compares to the Tour version? Thanks!

julian 01-12-2013 05:48 PM

52.5 NOT clear
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by McLovin (Post 7115297)
KLIP Armour Pro:

Stringing: This was the easiest to string of all the guts. Barely any coil memory, which resulted in almost a 0% chance of kinking it. The poly crosses slid along effortlessly. So much so that during the stringing, I felt as if I was stringing full poly. Tension right off the machine was spot-on:



Initial Hit: My first hit wasn't pleasant. There was a distinctive 'ping' when hitting, and I couldn't get it out of my mind that I was playing full poly. Serves seemed OK, but ground strokes felt like I was lacking serious power. There was practically no feel on the volleys. I only played 1 set of doubles with it, but was not impressed at all. I put it back in the bag, thinking maybe it just needed a while to settle. Tension immediately after 1 hit:



The next day, I took another reading, just to see how it settled:


How do you know whether 52.5 is a number referring to a gut or
a poly?
A git should loose between 7 and 9 percents
PS I am NOT a stringer,I am a tennis coach

mikeler 01-12-2013 06:10 PM

^^^ Good question. He may just be "pinging" only the gut with RacquetTune but I suspect it is the entire string bed.

Francis27 01-12-2013 06:24 PM

Great review! But how does racquet tune work i might get it

McLovin 01-12-2013 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by julian (Post 7115567)
How do you know whether 52.5 is a number referring to a gut or
a poly?
A git should loose between 7 and 9 percents
PS I am NOT a stringer,I am a tennis coach

RacquetTune has a 'hybrid' setting, so the tension loss is the overall string bed. Whether it is due to the gut or the poly, I do not know.

BTW, I forgot to mention that the Co. Focus is 17g (1.23mm).

McLovin 01-12-2013 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7115564)
I'm curious if you will be including Pacific Classic and Klip Legend (non-tour version) in future reviews?

I'm interested in those two strings. I've gathered some information scattered around the forum, so feel free to correct and contribute if you can!

Klip Legend and Pacific Classic are both on the crisp side:

Klip Legend - Crispest of all gut, plus for Klip Legend is that, it comes in 15L.
Pacific Classic - Not as crisp, but still crisp, and there is a break-in period? (Not a fan of that...)

If you've played with the non-Tour Klip Legend, how do you think it compares to the Tour version? Thanks!

Once I'm finished w/ the Legend Tour, I'll revisit regular Legend, alongside the Becker Hero. The Pacific Classic review should be written sometime next week.

I have a USTA Sectionals tournament next weekend, so I don't want to tinker too much before then. :)

Legend Tour is much less 'crisp' IMO than normal Legend. I don't know if it is the same gut w/ a coating, or if it is a different gut altogether, but after the first minute of hitting, after the 'ping' subsided, it settled in nicely. It reminded me of Pacific Classic. I have no idea why a coating would make it play better, but then again, it may be that I was coming from the Armour Pro.

Say Chi Sin Lo 01-12-2013 07:21 PM

^^?? You mean non-Tour Klip Legend doesn't have a coat?

I thought they would have a coating since there's a Klip Legend "uncoated"...

spdskr 01-13-2013 06:07 AM

Great report! I'm interested to hear how Becker, Tour, and regular Legend compare with Classic.

I used Legend years ago. Stringing was always tedious. Good to hear the coating on the Tour makes things easier. I also recall the playability of Legend decreasing as it aged, unlike other guts. Have you noticed this in prior tests? Since Klip also manufactures BB Hero, I wonder how its qualities will differ from Tour.

Eventually I migrated to Pacific Classic and then to Tough Gut. Both feel more muted than Legend when freshly strung, but play remains consistent until they break.

Thanks again for posting your reviews.

rdis10093 01-13-2013 06:27 AM

thanks for the info, have you ever played with a higher level gut?

julian 01-13-2013 06:30 AM

Loss of tension
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by McLovin (Post 7115697)
RacquetTune has a 'hybrid' setting, so the tension loss is the overall string bed. Whether it is due to the gut or the poly, I do not know.

BTW, I forgot to mention that the Co. Focus is 17g (1.23mm).

Loss of tension should be larger after one hour
Basically poly may loose 10 percents
Gut should loose around 9 percents

McLovin 01-13-2013 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7115745)
^^?? You mean non-Tour Klip Legend doesn't have a coat?

I thought they would have a coating since there's a Klip Legend "uncoated"...

Sorry, what I meant to say was 'same gut with an extra coating'. According to TW's blurb, Legend Tour "offers 2 coatings providing a livelier feel with more durability". So far, it is definitely more lively than regular Legend.

McLovin 01-13-2013 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdis10093 (Post 7116371)
thanks for the info, have you ever played with a higher level gut?

For years I used Bow Brand, which I would consider a higher level gut. Not Babolat, but still better than the others. When they stopped making tennis strings, I had to move on, and couldn't justify the $40 per set from Babolat.

For the record, Bow Brand retailed for $40 per set, but I bought direct from the manufacturer. They gave me a 20% discount for larger orders, and at the time the $ was good vs the . Also, a little known fact was you could buy squash packages. It was the same string, but in 37.5ft lengths, so it came to ~ $25 per set.

McLovin 01-13-2013 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7115564)
If you've played with the non-Tour Klip Legend, how do you think it compares to the Tour version? Thanks!

So far the KLIP Legend Tour is playing like Pacific Classic. Crisp, but not as crisp as the regular Legend.

I haven't found Classic to require a break-in period, but that is just me. Also, I only use the 17g version, and maybe the 16L or 16 require it?

One thing I forgot to mention was gauge consistency. Both Armour Pro and Legend Tour seemed very consistent throughout. The Classic, on occasion, will vary in thickness, sometimes looking like a 16Lg or an 18g.

Ramon 01-13-2013 11:37 AM

Great review! I like the pictures. I'm also using mid-range gut but in a full bed. I liked Klip Legend 16 enough to replace my favorite multis because of the durability, but I prefer Pacific Classic 16 because of the soft feel. I just strung my racquet with Tonic Ball Feel 16 and I'll try it in the next few days. Tonic was the easiest gut for me to string. I even did a one piece pattern with it. I hope I like it so I can spend less time messing with stringing problems!

I had problems with multis breaking early on shanks. I still use multis as backup. It looks like RIP Control mains with a soft cross (like Hexy Fiber or Premier Attack) is working as a suitable backup right now.


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