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Old 01-17-2012, 05:41 AM   #2473
mikeler's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 19,463
Default Wilson Natural Gut = Outstanding

OK, here is my review in the TW format of the Wilson Natural Gut 16.

Strung it up about 2 weeks ago. The string was noticeably soft and had plenty of coil memory so I performed a light prestretch on it. Luckily, PVAudio had sent me some cheaper "practice" guts to work with so I did not have any issues stringing it up. The string was coated which I'm sure helped. I did the old ball bounce test and it felt very soft yet crisp. For those players who think a string can't be both soft and crisp, they have never played with natural gut.

Tension it is strung: 60 pounds on a lockout machine full bed
Your regular string set up: Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge 17 Mains(52#)/Genesis Thunder Blast 16 Crosses(56#)
Racket: Pro Kennex 7G (this is different than the others tested in the Babolat PST+)
String pattern of your racquet: 16 x 20
Power (or lack there of): High
Feel: Incredible
Tension maintenance: Seemed to hold all 12 hours. I bought RacquetTune (RT) after I played 2 sets with it. The RT had it at 50.5 pounds after that match. It then settled down to 49.5 pounds where it stayed until death.
Price: $43/set
Overall comments and feedback: See below

General: I could tell on the first few hits that this had some major power. It is mostly controllable but I struggled the most those first 2 sets with it. So I do believe this string needs a break-in period which annoys me. C'mon, $43 and it does not play perfect out of the package? Once it broke in, I played some of my best tennis in a long time.

Serve/Return of Serve: Aces returned to mikeler's game every match. Put simply, this is the best serving setup I've ever used. Huge power on my first serve and poly like kick on my 2nd serve. I did not notice much on the return game except that it seems like I did not miss many.

Strokes: Lots of spin on both wings. Depth control was mostly good but I did not feel like I could flatten out strokes with this setup. As long as I used the high spin potential, everything was fine. Still, this was not the best setup for my forehand. On the other hand, my 1 handed topspin backhand was on the money. I can't recall another setup where my 1 hander was better. Slices were close to normal.

Net Game: It's pretty good for volleys but not spectacular. Volleys felt very solid when I tried to punch them. Overheads were killing my opponents with all the power.

Touch shots: Best setup I've ever played with. If I hit drop shots on appropriate balls, I almost always won the point outright or had my opponent so far out of position, getting the next ball out of his reach was easy.

Softness: The string feels as soft as the Mantis Comfort Synthetic. As expected, I had zero arm issues with using it.

Tension: If I had to do it over, I think I'd string it a few pounds higher.

Durability: I noticed most of the notching occurring on the tie off mains which are 3rd from the outside of the frame. None of the notches were particularly deep and there was no significant fraying so I did not bother with string savers. I hit one shot off the top of the frame that felt very weird yesterday. We were playing at a quick pace, so I did not notice anything after that hit. On the changeover, I looked down at the string bed and it looked like an MCS type scenario where the outer coating was completely gone and just a few strands were holding on. The string broke 2 points later. I was expecting a little more warning before this broke, not catastrophic failure.

Movement: The strings were hard to move with my fingers but yet they moved around like crazy during play. Kind of strange. I actually used a screw driver to straighten the strings before my last outing.

Conclusion: Now I've finally played with the string that multis are trying to emulate. None of them do...yet. The sweet spot is huge and the power is great from most areas of the court. Still, at $43 I don't see myself using this again except maybe during my annual club tournament. Perhaps, I'll try Pacific gut next winter. This is a fantastic string and if money is no object, you should try it for yourself some time.

Last edited by mikeler; 01-17-2012 at 05:47 AM.
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