Mystery Gut 16g / MSV CoFocus 1.23mm
This playtest is brought to you in part by levy1. He posted that he had found a natural gut supplier having run out of Performaxx. I asked him about it, and he offered to sell me a set to test. I agreed, so here we are! To start: all details about the gut itself will have to be answered by him because I know absolutely nothing whatsoever about where this gut came from or who manufactures it. Now, let's get on to the string.
This is without question in the "cheap" gut class. I have strung the majority of the cheap guts including Global, Mamba, Volley, Unifibre, an unnamed e Bay brand and of course Performaxx. Out of all of these, Performaxx is second to none as far as quality. It truly strings like and appears to be Pacific gut. The mystery gut, however, does not. It is very brittle feeling and has the very rough texture that the rest of the budget guts do. It has, however, a singular advantage over Mamba, Global and Volley, but not Unifibre. Although rough and dry, it is consistent in gauge. It is 1.36mm unstrung per my calipers whereas the Unifibre is 1.33mm in gauge. Now, from set to set, I cannot be sure obviously, but it is fairly uniform although not smooth. There is no protective coating of any sort and has typical budget gut coil memory.
It took me about 8 minutes longer to string this gut than it does with VS, Pacific or Performaxx. The reason is because knowing that it feels like a cheaper gut, I don't want to rush anything whatsoever for fear of it breaking. While weaving the crosses, the roughness is very apparent because the gut does not let you slide the poly into straightening position very easily. After tensioning, the amount of touch-up straightening is exactly like that of the other cheap guts. You get the same "violin" sound when fanning the poly which is indicative of a very rough surface.
So, here's my stringing conclusion. Although less expensive than Performaxx, it is indeed a cheaper gut than Performaxx. I don't have confidence while stringing it, and since it is so thick, I would not want to do this in a full bed. It is not a product I would offer to my customers for the very reason that I cannot guarantee that I will be able to have some recourse in the event of premature breakage. Now, that is a tad unfair since I bought it through someone and not from a company, but given what I've been told, it's not a gut to buy a few sets at a time. In summary, it strings just like the other dry budget guts, but gets marks for being consistent in gauge, but still is not in the same quality league as Performaxx. I will hit with it this evening to give the playability verdict. Strung at 52/47lbs, no prestretch.