Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro Playtest
String, gauge, & color received
ZX Pro 1.22mm in dark red color.
Tension used for playtest
53/51lbs, Locked up, no prestretch: It really stretched a lot while pulled. Every time I pulled, I was a bit concerned as it felt like slipping.
Regular string set up
WeissCANNON Scopion 1.22 /Multifilament , 49/53lbs;
Skill level: solid 4.0, most double, all court, prefer at net.
Racquet brand and model used for test
Modified 11.9 Oz Ozone Tour 16*18; Stiffness 62
Power of test string
The very first impression of this string is its power; the sound of hitting or the feel of it is just like a typical poly. There is pocketing effect and it feels quite comfortable, but its power is a bit too much for me. When I hit with most of the poly strings, whether it is shaped or round, I will see that dipping effect at last second due to top spin, and I have always accounted on that effect not to hit out. During practice or casual hitting, the top spin is there. Nonetheless, when playing under pressure or when you make a full swing for a penetrating shot, the ball just launches out. I hesitated to make a full cut of ball and always concerned whether it would be out if I did. The only time I feel good about its power is when I serve, it is a great string for either flat or kick. My flat is not perfect flat, but with a bit of side spin. You will see the ball bounced with curve traveling over 100 mph. I won quite a lot of free points.
I donít have TE, and it is quite comfortable, but it is not a string I would take for my double matches. I canít fully control the volley at net. Placement is crucial to play double, but I just donít have the confidence when playing with this string at net. When playing with my normal set up, I have a pretty good control of how far and where the ball will bounce back at net.
You can definitely see the top spin, but it is between Multi and poly. If you try too hard, the ball will launch. My backhand under spin was quite good with this string, the ball just floats deep.
It is quite comfortable, as I have no issues with it at all after playing. It felt a bit more comfortable than 4G. The pocketing effect is there when you hit at the sweet spot. The off center hits are felt OK too, no much of vibration.
Durability & Playability Duration
It seems to be quite durable after 5 hrs of playing. It notched slightly, and did not move much. There is no sign of being dead or becoming boardy. Still plenty life left.
There is a control in the sense that the direction of the ball return is predictable, no spraying effect like BHBR. It is just a bit too powerful when you make a full cut.
Compare to the string you use most often:
I guess that I am just used to Scopion: I know its power well, great at net, decent spin enough to cause trouble when needed. This string does come handy when I just try to block heavy shots and get pass by with this string. If I could learn to control the power, it is a decent string.
Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?)
Maybe increase another 2 lb. Just a bit too powerful for me. I can see why it is said to be comparable with natural guts. As I first tried guts, I had a trouble with its power for quite sometimes. It was only after a month of playing that I began to appreciate the power of NG and learn to control it. Well, I would still hesitate to say it resembles the natural guts at net.
List any final thoughts: It is truly a unique string since it combines certain characteristics of natural guts, poly, and multis. After testing it, I would say it leans toward soft co poly much moreÖ
Thank you very much, TW, for allowing me to participate this playtest.