Pro Supex Big Ace Micro / Dunlop S-Gut 17g
This is a fairly straight forward stringjob. BAM is one of those easy to work with polys, so there was no issue there. Having used it in full bed, it's quite easy to weave as well, but that's obviously not relevant. S-Gut in the white/clear form that I have here is, however, different than the black. I presume it plays as such because while the black is very soft and easy to weave, the white is much stiffer feeling. It's not hard to weave at all, but the black (even by just looking at how tension is pulled) is a softer string. Nonetheless, nothing bad to report. Cranked out this frame in my new personal best, 17:02 and didn't bother with straightening/finishing touches as can be seen above. To put it another way for people wondering how to speed up your times, straightening as you go/tension saves a huge amount of time in the end. Strung at 47/52.
This is a quality all-court setup as BAM is known to be. Oddly, it feels a lot stiffer than I was expecting. In hybrid form, BAM has lost some of its innate crispness in lieu of a stiffer feeling stringbed. Personally, that's not what I'm looking for so next time I will use a different cross (I carry three sticks typically. Two of them are strung like this and one of which has yet to be strung.) to see if I can get a softer feeling. Again, I would use Thunderblast, but I tire of the black markings on the balls. N.vY will be here soon, so I will wait until it arrives to string the third racquet and then do a side-by-side.
Enough of that, let's talk about playability. As can be expected, this setup has great spin. It's not full poly spin, nor should you expect that from any hybrid apart from gut mains. Slices in particular are usually very low, and very reliable since you can control easily what sort of spin you put on it. Flatter, offensive slices are easy and fluffier defensive slices are easy as well. Simply change how you hit it, and the string takes care of the rest just like good poly should.
It doesn't, however, make the ball skid like BHB7 or something similar does. Nonetheless, you can really feel the bite on strokes, and BAM is one of those few polys that makes a gunshot sound when you connect. For reference, others are Tour Bite, Isospeed Baseline and Lux ALU. The spin is one thing, but this also has great control. It's not Scorpion level, but truth be told, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a poly with greater control than Scorpion. It does have the responsiveness I like, so you get really nice feedback on how well you just hit a given ball. Good stuff.
Much the same story here. Good pop, but nothing excessive. It's the bite on second serves that you really notice, and as I've said before, few FEW smooth polys give the spin that BAM does. It's evident here. Added bonus is the .30-06 sound when you hit a flat serve
Not the best in the world, but you won't be let down like with most poly beds or poly hybrids. The power level is low enough that you don't have to fear launching balls haphazardly, but not quite high enough that you feel confident really punching into a putaway. This is where Thunderblast really can't be beat: by turning a poly main stringbed into a usable net-player's setup.
This is a hard section to rate. If you don't know either of these two strings, BAM is 1.15mm and S-Gut 17 is 1.22mm before tensioning. You're likely wondering what on earth is my problem in choosing what is likely a low durability setup. The problem is this:
As posted in another thread, this is Scorpion/S-Gut 16 at around the 7-8 hour mark. I've completely killed the Scorpion, but the cross (1.30mm) has not popped. So, in essence, you end up wasting the cross. Luckily we're not talking real gut here, so cutting it out won't make you wince. Nonetheless, I wanted to find a setup where the crosses will pop right around the time the poly mains die. BAM is above average in tension stability (not WeissCANNON level, but aside from Signum Pro, no one else is), and doesn't fall off a cliff when it dies. It lets you know when it's reaching the end of its life like WC and Signum Pro polys do. Hopefully the combination of thin main and thin cross will yield a setup whereby as soon as the poly gets half-way to death, the crosses pop.
I think each section summed it up better than a typical overall summary. I want a crispy stringbed that will last around the time that Scorpion does, but around that time, I want the crosses to break. In other words, I want to get as much out of the stringbed as I can. The white S-Gut is a bit stiff feeling, so perhaps the black or N.vY will be better, but overall, this is quite a nice setup for me. I would not recommend it therefore if you have elbow issues since you do get a lot of feedback. To me, that's a good thing, but if you have TE, that's typically the last thing you want.