Genesis Black Magic 17g / WhisperTouch
I covered the mains above, and I've talked about weaving this gut so many times. In case you missed a few posts above, I finally got myself under 20 minutes while weaving gut crosses! As I don't push or pull weave (modified sewing motion), I was pretty proud to see that I'd improved that much. Just proves that practice makes improvement
, never perfection.
Anyway, as I said, no issues here. Strung like all of my other hybrids. Strung at 51/53, 5% machine prestretch with knot setting for tieoffs.
It's interesting what the WhisperTouch does. When I played with the full bed of Black Magic, there was very little feel because the stringbed was mushy soft. Using gut crosses actually makes the stringbed LESS soft, and makes it feel a bit stiffer. The result is an enormous increase in feel without increasing power. In fact, I'd venture to say that BM needs to be in a hybrid to get the most out of it. Since it isn't a spin poly, you can't really run home based on the spin generated by it. Instead, you'd most likely use this setup because of its comfort factor. When crossed with the gut, it retains its comfort level but the playability is significantly increased by the jump in feedback. All strokes were improved in this regard. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that even a cheap synthetic cross would increase the value of this already great value poly even more. Rare for poly strings, but for this one, it's the softness that needs to be tamed.
Much like the full bed, but quite a bit livelier. What you lose in spin, you definitely gain in power. For this reason, I ended up having to put even more spin than normal on my serves just to keep them in the box. It's not as powerful as the Turbotwist setup, but the difference between this and the full bed is quite remarkable. As far as serving goes, this one loses to the full bed of the black stuff. Video for this as well:
As stated in the groundstrokes section, all shots are improved by the cross string. The increased feel at the net is greatly appreciated as the muteness of the full poly pretty much meant that you were at the mercy of your hand-eye coordination to set up your racquet face properly. Beyond that, what the volley did was up to the graces of physics. Here, however, you can create good touch shots. While not exemplary like one of my first reviews, Mosquito Bite/SNGPS, it is quite nice nonetheless.
The gut has extended the life of the poly as is common for gut hybrids. I have not broken it yet, but the gut also has not caused the notching seen in the full bed. The string is so soft that in the full bed, notching occured simply during the rest period after stringing. Although this could be due to stringer error, it has never happened with any other poly that I've strung. So far, the poly has died, but the strings continue on.
Although it is my go-to, I cannot say for sure that the increased performance is due to the cross being gut, or for the poly simply being crossed. Either way, the gut has allowed the poly to last beyond its death as is usual, and conversely, unusual for any other cross string. As I've said before, this is why natural gut crosses are worth the price (assuming you use a value gut). Since the performance of the gut doesn't decrease until breakage, you get much more out of the stringbed than you would otherwise. When at its end, the performance is obviously not as good as a fresh bed, but it is still incredibly playable. I've never found that with synthetic crosses and it's why I continue to use and advocate gut crosses.