After recently having three string jobs of Babolat Tonic+Longevity randomly break in my bag I switched back to Black VS Touch. Well, now I've had two packages of Black VS Touch in which the string coating flakes off during the stringing process and the surface of the string is extremely rough and dry out-of-the-package rather than the usual translucent black and smooth. It's not friction burn as the stringers who have done the work produce beautiful string beds. With normal Black VS Touch their string beds are glassy smooth and a beautiful translucent black. And as I note above with these last two packages the string is weird right out of the package. In one case a stringer pointed out that a particular area of the string which was nearly devoid of coating and actually "splintering" with layers of gut sticking out like bits of wood! These guys know their business and string for the BB&T Open here in Atlanta and attend the annual symposium in Florida. I know that natural gut, being a natural product, will have variations and I'm fine with some level of variation. But between the random Longevity breaking and splintering VS Touch it seems that Babolat is trying to reduce costs in order to maintain or improve margins, perhaps by cutting corners. This is consistent with their recent move to coarser, less expensive graphite being used in some of their latest frames. At this point Babolat gut might not be the reliable choice it always has been. I'd move to Wilson but it's rumored that it's also made by Babolat. In any case, Babolat needs to do a better job at QC on their natural gut.