Topspin CyberTwirl Black 1.27 / Babolat VS Team 17
As promised, a review of the CT black. I don't know how relevant this will be to most people here since the string isn't available in the US. Nonetheless, it's apparently one of the best spin strings on the market. So, I decided that I'd be the only supplier of it in the state
A note about my choice of cross string: I had started the crosses with a set of WhisperTouch, and on the second pull, SNAP! To be fair, the set felt very gummy in the hand and it normally feels like your fingernails to the touch. Still, I thought that I'd try it, and unfortunately it strung like I feared. This was, however, received when there was a manufacturing error (same batch as the WT Pro that broke in my bag), so I guess that just shows that that batch was garbage. I've used older sets and the newest sets and they're fine, so it's just that batch. The VS Team, however, is the original stuff. It's about a year or so old when I was using gut mains, and was floundering around in my string chest in a ziploc. I forgot I had it in there, so I figured it was time to use it
The CTB is a very limp poly string, very reminiscent of WC Silverstring. No tangly nonsense like BHBR or Bab PH. It wasn't stiff in the slightest, and withstood clamping just fine. Looking at it now, I can't see any marks on it from stringing.
To those looking for an introduction to stringing gut, don't start with VS Team (at least not the original, as I can't speak for the new variety not having tried it) if you deal with holes blocked by more than one string. This frame does indeed deal that out at the head. I did actually weave the WhisperTouch before tying off, but since it snapped, I had to feed the VS through a grommet blocked by two layers of highly textured 1.27mm string. I refuse to use awls and pathfinders as I rarely find them necessary. I will admit, however, that on my own racquets I'll take a thick awl coated with some akempucky and enlarge the blocked holes to make this process smoother.
As I do believe that VS Team is the best gut on the market (albeit I personally do prefer the feel of WhisperTouch, and at almost 2x the price, I wouldn't even consider using it unless someone gave it to me), I am excited to see that I had some in my stash (I do have a few other sets of the original, but I'll only use those for customers). As the best gut on the market, it is one of the most nightmarish to string in the mains since it's very elastic and can cause enormous clamp slingback on the first four mains. In the crosses, however, it's as easy to string as the easiest multi. It's so floppy and soft that it's like stringing a thin version of Mantis Comfort Synthetic. Interesting that the very quality that makes it great to play with makes it the worst to string in the mains, but a dream in the crosses.