String, gauge, & color received
Ashaway MonoGut ZX 16 Red
Tension used for playtest
56 pounds on a lockout machine.
Regular string set up
When my arm can handle it, Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge mains with a multi cross.
Racquet brand and model used for test
Prince Exo3 Tour 16x18
Power of test string
Very high, similar to natural gut. First serves and overheads were wonderful with this string.
Good, but not as good as natural gut. PVAudio said it best when he mentioned the string has a crunchy feel.
Very good, same as a full bed of gut for me but still a little less than my favorite Black 5 Edge poly in the mains. It seemed like most of my opponents were making more errors or hitting short due to the spin I was generating.
It feels more firm than natural gut or multis but never once bothered my arm which has been sensitive on and off for the last 4 years.
Excellent. I think I've got about 12 hours or more of singles play on it. It barely looks notched in a very open pattern racket and I'm a string breaker.
Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time)
This is a tough one. I played my best match of the year before I packed my stick to leave for Florida to DC. Once I got here, I warmed up with it both times but quickly abandoned the test string early in matches because the control was gone. Is the Zyex cold sensitive because I left my rackets in the luggage? I'm thinking so. UPDATE: I think I'm finding that I was just having trouble controlling shots with opponents who hit with a lot of spin.
Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?)
I played really well with this string on all shots. Seemed very consistent to me.
Compare to the string you use most often
I love to try strings, so hard to answer this one.
Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?)
I don't agree with low tension on this string. It needs more tension to keep the ball in play. I'm glad I strung it relatively high.
List any final thoughts.
My original test set got lost in the mail. Thanks TW/Ashaway for sending a replacement. It appears this test was geared mostly for the 1.22mm gauge. What I received was 1.27mm.
My extensive multifilament string testing has lead me to believe that 17g or less is too springy for soft synthetics. I like the thicker 16g versions in every case so far. It would seem from reading the 1.22mm reviews, that most people are experiencing the same thing I have.
This is truly a unique string and I'm proud that an American company has come up with something so different that plays outstanding. I plan on using this full bed in the cooler months of the year when more power is needed. With the hotter weather now, Black 5 Edge poly mains just give me the control I need to keep balls from flying.
I know this would cost money, but I'd like to see Ashaway redo this playtest in the fall with the cooler weather and the thicker gauge. I've tried a boatload of strings and I'm not finding very many negatives with this string like I'm reading in this thread.
Thanks Ashaway and TW for allowing me to participate.
Last edited by mikeler; 06-03-2013 at 12:20 PM.