Isospeed Baseline Spin 1.20mm / Gosen OG Sheep Micro 17g Natural
Here's to me hoping that this setup is really good. No, just good enough would suffice.Why? This is the easiest setup I have ever strung, and if the playability is sufficient for my game, I'll switch to it just out of stringing ease and cost. It took two entire minutes less than anything else I've strung. Two minutes is a lot when I average around 20mins for full poly, and about a minute less for poly mains or full synthetic. I have never encountered a poly that is easier to handle than Isospeed Baseline. Honestly, Gamma Live Wire is more difficult to deal with. There is zero coil memory, it's floppy, supple in the hand, knots like butter and just zooms through grommets. OGSM already is one of the easiest crosses out there, but it's not the easiest (I think Maxim Touch is easier). I'd say top 5 easiest cross with the easiest poly I've ever handled, and you've got something that's actually enjoyable to string. Strung 51.5/55lbs.
As I've been harping on recently about this stuff, I guess it's fair to say that I rather like it. This is difficult for me to review, and frankly, odd. I believe it was fgs that warned me that this would happen. This stuff is amazing. I mean, for me, super amazing. There is no other word for it: it's my favorite string setup of all time. First, a note or two.
Although I'm not sure if I've said it too often, crispness is my most desired attribute in a string setup. It's why I loved Scorpion/gut and Tornado/Xcel so much. They offer a responsiveness that's unlike anything else. Note that they are not the highest rated in this thread, because the purpose of this is for me to try to use my limited amount of skill to provide an objective account of the string's performance. It's that clash that causes some misconceptions about the results of these playtests and in particular what caused the blowup about the L-Tec. In that review, I included my objective and then subjective ratings. In this review, I will do the same.
I am not going to say that this is the BEST string setup in this thread. That would be ridiculous what with all of the natural gut being tested. But for me, this is it. The main reason is because it offers two things that I look for most. First, it is incredibly crisp. It has a response unlike anything else but a few other strings, two of which I mentioned above. It's also why I like Genesis SpinX so much, but do realize that it's not objectively that good. For me, however, I've yet to find something that matches what I've been looking for, and while I call it crispness, some call it responsiveness, and others by different names. Regardless, this hits the spot.
Secondly, it is incredibly neutral. Why is that important? Well, this thread has a multitude of setups whose string cost alone would be over $20 (see Cyber Twirl / VS Team
aka the WORST waste of my money I've ever been stupid enough to do willingly) because they're meant to enhance certain aspects of your game. That's wonderful, and that's usually exactly what you want from a string setup. I do fully appreciate that obviously. However, what I appreciate more is seeing that I've hit a great shot, or that my ball is causing my opponent trouble. When it's my technique that's resulting in such situations, that trumps fancy string setup enhancements every time. This neutrality is why I am an enormous fan of WC Silverstring. It does not let you do anything you cannot already do. It also will not detract anything from your game that you can already do. It just takes your skill, and transfers it to the ball. If that's into the net or into the fence, so be it. Improve your technique. If that's a winner, then that's the best feeling ever. The Baseline/OGSM falls into that realm.
Given that I'm reconstructing my backhand, having neutral feedback on what sort of ball is coming off of my racquet is very valuable. It also means something else: you can never blame the racquet or the strings, so all you can do is play tennis. I probably talked my hitting partner's ear off about this because it's just so good to have something reliable with no frills. It's like my Honda: built superbly with everything you need, and nothing you don't. No excess, and yet no rough spots. For this latter criterion, Baseline/OGSM also takes the cake.
I think I pretty well covered this string in the novel written above. There is nothing special here aside from a tasty cannon sound that only a couple strings can make consistently (RPM Blast, Tour Bite and Alien are others)
Very nice feel up at the net. The neutrality lets you guide the ball pretty well, but there's nothing stopping you from hitting it out. Overheads are relatively straight forward as well.
I think I have 2-3 hours total on it so far, and while the OGSM is the color of ball fuzz, the poly is still snapping back fine. Truth be told, at this price and given how easy it is to string, if it lasts 6 hours for me, then that's gold. Add in the fact that I have 3-4 racquets and it's a non-issue.
I think I covered my thoughts on this nicely in the groundstrokes section, so I won't waste any more of your time. From an overall standpoint, this is just a good string setup. It's just like any other string setup I've got in here that's had a high 8 rating. It just does things nicely all around. However, for me personally, I just found what I've been looking for. It's the crispness of NRG2 and the poly feel of WC Silverstring all in one nice package. A nice package that costs $2 a frame, and for that reason, I find it's second to none.
Some of you at this point probably think that I'm out of my mind for calling the cheapest string setup I've ever tried as the best that I've ever tried. Here, money plays no part. It's just extra icing on the cake that the value is tremendous. When/if TW gets Baseline Spin back in stock, I'm scooping up at least two reels. So while I would say GO TRY IT, IT'S AMAZING! much like I have done with some of the natural gut reviews in here, I can't honestly do that. It's because I know that this is just what I personally
have been looking for in doing this thread. I'm open minded enough to see that not everyone would feel the same way, so I give an objective assessment of a great value stringbed with no-frills playability.
Obj. Overall: 8.75/10
My Overall: GOAT