WhisperTouch Pro / MSV Hepta-Twist 1.25
This wasn't bad at all, despite what the MSV looks like. The gut was easy to string up in the mains, and as you can see, no power pads were used here. The last time I used WT Pro mains, both sets snapped prematurely in my bag. That string, however, was during a rough spot in raw materials production. The set used for both playtests was purchased thereafter. All in all, very easy to string up. Strung at 49/47, no prestretch.
This is a very specific setup, and if you aren't familiar with it, it was chosen due to the following: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/lear...OFreporter.php
If you look, the setup with the lowest mu is the Tonic / Hepta-Twist hybrid. Since I don't use Babolat gut anymore as I prefer the feel of the Performaxx, I decided to make my own version of it. This yielded a very interesting stringbed for a number of reasons. The biggest feature is the power, and my goodness, is there a lot of it! This is likely due both to stringing the natural gut mains below 50lbs, and also due to the MSV in itself being rather lively. There is also a very generous amount of spin that this setup provides, but it isn't the greatest or greater than a full poly bed by any measure. It is, however, far more comfortable and easier to generate heavy shots due to the obscene power and healthy spin.
Here, however, is the caveat: if you do NOT employ a strong low-high swing path, your shots WILL be going long. I do not believe in the theory of "effortless" spin, as physics cannot be beaten by tennis racquet strings. You cannot impart rotation on the ball just by the material in the stringbed if there is no additional momentum applied. In other words, you don't get spin unless you swing to generate it. With this setup, you can generate spin very easily which results in an extremely heavy ball. However, if you flatten out your shots, make sure you realize that it better be a putaway or a higher percentage shot. The same applies to backspin and sidespin. Due to the nature of these shots, if you don't get the trajectory correct, the balls will land long. If you do get the trajectory right, you won't believe how much your slices penetrate the court and skid.
This is a great serving setup if you employ topspin on your serve like I do. Reason is listed above: you get excellent power and excellent spin. However, flat serves are more difficult to work with. It results in lower percentages, but this is also advantageous. If you are normally putting up a very heavy serve with lots of movement, and then flatten out the next, the change in pace is extraordinary and can truly throw the opponent off. However, note again that these can go wide and long if you're not careful.
The same applies here as well. WT Pro provides incredible feel, so it's easy to direct your volleys exactly where you want them as far as azimuth goes. It is NOT easy, however, to get the depth just right. You need to be putting the volleys away to hit with confidence every time. Shorter angles increase the chances of the ball going long, but they are excellent for longer paths. With the natural gut in the mains, touch shots are technically simple, however you may be surprised that the ball goes farther than you were expecting. Get it right, and that ball can definitely hop back over the net.
Not sure here. I only played both setups for a total of 1 hour between the two, with this having less play time since I was getting used to my new frame with the go-to string setup for a reference. Nonetheless, the gut isn't really going to pot yet, but the poly IS moving all over the place. What this means at this point, I don't know. Time will tell if the MSV goes dead first or the gut gets shredded.
This is a very good setup, but it still isn't quite my cup of tea. I used to play with gut mains, and going back to them brought back all of the reasons why I did. You get effortless power, great control, and excellent feel. However, time and again, I picked up the B5E mains racquet and didn't put it down until I reminded myself I was playtesting this setup as well. It's excellent, but it's just not as good as gut crosses for me. I do, however, recommend that people try it.