Babolat Tonic/ Gosen AK Pro CX (NatGut/SynGut)

Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
3 hours into the Klip17g/CX17g 54/51 and the strings are getting stuck out of place. :( I attribute this to the tension being too low. Id do the same strings 59/55 next time. Also my girlfriend is about to try Klip18g/CX17g at 62/58 in a Vcore Pro 310g.
It must be the lower tension. My strings don't get stuck out of place but I am 10lb tighter on mains and crosses + prestretch. Here is a picture of mine with 30 hours on them... still can't believe they haven't broken yet, they are just fraying everywhere. I suspect they will break soon though as there is some pretty significant fraying + sawing of the mains near the top.


You'll just have to trust me that I didn't straighten them for the picture. The white tiles hides all the ugly fraying on the natural gut well too lol.


How did your Duel G go at the higher tensions?
 

Nate7-5

Semi-Pro
Havent used the Duel G for a few sessions since Ive been using the HD more than I ever have but i think low 60s/upper 50s is the goldilocks zone for this setup.
 

mark b.

Rookie
Hi Guys/Gals: Glad to find this thread. I was extolling the virtues of my Klip Gut/HEAD Rip Control on another thread. I too play with a Vcore and string the gut mains at 65# knowing they'll settle in at around 61-62 which provides greater control. I string the Rip Contol crosses at 60.
My goal is stringbed predictability and "poly-like" control. I've used several setups and the closest was Klip/Wilson NXT Control. The NXT is too expensive.
As mentioned earlier in this thread, it played the same exact way for two months before the NXT shredded into tiny sting fibers.
I'm going to have to try the GOSEN but will have to wait until the Rip craps out.
I think I'm done with my full bed poly days. Just WAYYYYY too unpredictable after the first four outings.
Thanks!
 

Nate7-5

Semi-Pro
Put VS Touch 16g x Gosen AK Pro CX 17g in my girlfriend's EZONE 98 at 62/58 and she loves it. Yoneyama this is definitely my primary setup now. #TeamYonex

 

Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
Put VS Touch 16g x Gosen AK Pro CX 17g in my girlfriend's EZONE 98 at 62/58 and she loves it. Yoneyama this is definitely my primary setup now. #TeamYonex

Nice! Spread the good word of this great combo haha. I just ordered some more gut and AK Pro CX. I fear my setup is finally on it's last legs. It is playing great but the mains are 75% sawed through so I expect it to probably break the next set I play.

I ordered some Black VS Gut and Black AK Pro CX, it should look awesome.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
I did 64/62 a while back in my Ultra Tour 95's with Vs Touch 1.30 in the mains and AK Pro CX 1.24 in the crosses, It felt super comfortable and almost looked like a full bed of gut. It was a tad bit too lively with a high launch angle, so i may try it again at 64/64 and slowly up the tension from there 1 lb at a time. I don't know why but I've never like stringing the crosses looser than the mains. It's definitely playable but in a match situation I wouldn't feel 100% confident swinging out.
 

SlvrDragon50

Semi-Pro
Put VS Touch 16g x Gosen AK Pro CX 17g in my girlfriend's EZONE 98 at 62/58 and she loves it. Yoneyama this is definitely my primary setup now. #TeamYonex

Ahh just the combo I was looking for! Thinking about giving my Yonex VC98+ a solid try and replace the Solinco full bed it came with. I was going to get some more Grapplesnake Irukandji which I loveeee as a cross with gut mains, but I wouldn't mind something with more consistent playability. I feel like the poly cross works great for up to about 20-30 hours and then it suddenly loses feel and playability (still playable, just nowhere near as nice as the first weeks).
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
Ahh just the combo I was looking for! Thinking about giving my Yonex VC98+ a solid try and replace the Solinco full bed it came with. I was going to get some more Grapplesnake Irukandji which I loveeee as a cross with gut mains, but I wouldn't mind something with more consistent playability. I feel like the poly cross works great for up to about 20-30 hours and then it suddenly loses feel and playability (still playable, just nowhere near as nice as the first weeks).
What tension(s) do you use with the gut mains and Irukandji? I have a set of Irukandji, I used half a set in my Yonex HD as the cross for the gut mains. I strung it up at 59/57. I thought it played nice but a little too stiff. I need to figure out what tension(s) to lower it down to. I chaned it down to 58/54 on the newest re-stringing.

I am really interested in trying the gut mains and Gosen AK Pro CX here soon.
 

SlvrDragon50

Semi-Pro
What tension(s) do you use with the gut mains and Irukandji? I have a set of Irukandji, I used half a set in my Yonex HD as the cross for the gut mains. I strung it up at 59/57. I thought it played nice but a little too stiff. I need to figure out what tension(s) to lower it down to. I chaned it down to 58/54 on the newest re-stringing.

I am really interested in trying the gut mains and Gosen AK Pro CX here soon.
Oh geez, I always have to dig up my records because it's always so long in between stringings. What gut did you use?

It looks like I started off with 56/52, but I was pretty consistently hitting balls just long. I then bumped it up to 58/52 based off suggestions from others like @USPTARF97 who has pretty extensive experience with gut/poly hybrids. Unfortunately, this is right about when COVID hit, and I only got maybe 2 days of playing with it. I just played 3 matches over the past 3 weeks with the racket, and the bed feels pretty dead already, but I'm going to blame that on the strings sitting for like 4-5 months. I will say that when I first tried out the 58/52 I was pleasantly happy. I've definitely seen some bigger tension differentials as well. Keep in mind that this was in an RF97 which I feel has a higher launch angle than my VC98+.
 

LoanStar

New User
Some people might have seen that I have been raving on about Gosen AK Pro CX in a few threads lately. It is an extremely good string and leagues above other SynGuts. Probably the closest thing to real Natural Gut I have ever tried (tried a lot of multifilaments and things like Zyex or Bab Origin, none come close). I really like it in a full bed, as well as in a poly hybrid.

Anyway, I had half a set of Babolat Tonic and half a set of Gosen AK Pro CX left after trying each with Max Power crosses recently, so I decided to hybrid the Natural Gut in the mains with the Synthetic Gut in the crosses. Yes, it sounds like a huge waste of Natural Gut and I would agree with you if you used any other synthetic gut.

It plays extremely well, and is perhaps the most linear responding string setup I have ever tried except for Kevlar/Zyex. It is soft, muted, and doesn't punish you for slowing down your swing speed like Natural Gut/Poly hybrids do. It doesn't feel like a frying pan either like Kevlar hybrids do. Honestly, I could do no wrong tonight with this string setup and I am very amazed.

The closest thing I would compare it to is a full bed of Natural Gut but slightly lower powered. The spin potential is the same as full Gut. If you cannot afford a full bed of Gut but like how it plays, try this hybrid out. The tension maintenance of the AK Pro CX is unreal as well, so it will likely last as long as a full bed of Gut.

The racquet was a Vcore Duel G 97 and tensions were 64/60lb 10% prestretch.
Why did you choose Tonic compared to VS Touch?
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
Oh geez, I always have to dig up my records because it's always so long in between stringings. What gut did you use?

It looks like I started off with 56/52, but I was pretty consistently hitting balls just long. I then bumped it up to 58/52 based off suggestions from others like @USPTARF97 who has pretty extensive experience with gut/poly hybrids. Unfortunately, this is right about when COVID hit, and I only got maybe 2 days of playing with it. I just played 3 matches over the past 3 weeks with the racket, and the bed feels pretty dead already, but I'm going to blame that on the strings sitting for like 4-5 months. I will say that when I first tried out the 58/52 I was pleasantly happy. I've definitely seen some bigger tension differentials as well. Keep in mind that this was in an RF97 which I feel has a higher launch angle than my VC98+.
I am using Luxilon gut. Feels really nice and better than most guts I've used.
 

SlvrDragon50

Semi-Pro
I am using Luxilon gut. Feels really nice and better than most guts I've used.
I am surprised to hear that you are finding that setup stiff then! The Irukandji is pretty soft, and I am using Klip which is definitely stiffer than Luxilon. Well, hopefully lowering the tensions will help you out. Otherwise the Gosen hybrid here sounds very promising. I plan on placing an order as soon as I can figure out how to spend $50.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

AceyMan

Rookie
the AK Pro CX seems like such a hit—in this thread, at least—it makes me wonder if TW may ever start importing it in a reel. Reels always make sense when you find a string love, and doubly so when you only need enough for the crosses.

['like' if you agree]

/Acey
 

aaron_h27

Professional
I did 64/62 a while back in my Ultra Tour 95's with Vs Touch 1.30 in the mains and AK Pro CX 1.24 in the crosses, It felt super comfortable and almost looked like a full bed of gut. It was a tad bit too lively with a high launch angle, so i may try it again at 64/64 and slowly up the tension from there 1 lb at a time. I don't know why but I've never like stringing the crosses looser than the mains. It's definitely playable but in a match situation I wouldn't feel 100% confident swinging out.
Update...I like the combo. It has good power & spin, feels comfortable. Almost plays like a full bed of NG, but with a little less power and more spin but the difference is pretty minute. I am going to string the crosses next time 2 lbs higher (64 lbs) to lower the launch angle slightly. It's almost perfect expect for a few fliers that happen occasionally, so I'm thinking once I do that it should play perfect. I like full bed of natural gut but it can get expensive, this is a really good alternative for the rec player.

I have about 12 hours of play with the strings and they are still in pretty good shape. I could maybe get another 4-6 hours before they pop. Decent durability also.

If I can't tame the launch angle, then I'll probably have to see if i can find AK PRO CX in 16 gauge...
 

Happi

Semi-Pro
Mini review of Babolat VS / AK Pro CX17 - compared to Babolat VS / Isospeed Professional Classic 17 both installed at same tension in two matched Angell TC95

I was really exited to read this thread and may positive reviews, as I am always looking for at good soft cross string for Gut this is really in my wheelhouse.

String: Like the Gosen very much, super soft and smooth. Iso have more coil and is kind of stiffer.
Stringing: Goes to Gosen, very nice string to be stringing, except more problems with blocked holes in the TC95 (you Angell guys knows what I am talking about here)
Power: it it a tie, both powerful setup. However I think Iso is better at taming the Gut.
Spin: it is a tie too - both are not as spin friendly as gut / poly.
Control: I have more control with Gut / Iso as it plays much more consistant for a much longer period.
Feel: Gut / Iso wins by a good margin, Gut / Gosen almost felt stiff compared.
Comfort: Both setup are very comfort, but Gut / Iso is the winner by a good margin.
String movement: This is an issue for me as I hate string movement. After 30 minutes the Gut moves a lot in the Gut / Gosen setup, even worse after 1 or 2 hours, I need to cut it out since I need to adjust strings after every point. Gut / Iso does not move at all, this is the best setup Gut / multi or Gut / synthesis gut so far I have encountered. Even better than some Gut / poly.
Tension loss: Gut / Gosen holds tension better, but Gut / Iso will settle after an initial tension loss and play consistant for a long time.

Dont get me wrong, I like the Gosen AK Pro CX it is great string, and I will try it soon in a FB - but as a cross to gu,t Isospeed Professional Classic 17 is superior if you want a better feel, and a consistant stringbed without string movement. It is almost like the Gut and Iso are made for each other. If you go to the string database here at TWU, Gut and Iso are the only two strings that have almost the same stiffness between the 3 tension settings. You can thus string it at higher tension without the stringbed getting stiff.

I hope other will try out both combos side by side and give their opinion too.

Of cause this is only my opinion, as with so many other things you have to try it out for your self. I have been buying so many strings based on good reviews here, only to find I had the opposite opinion.

Cheers, H :)
 

Sharkall

New User
Mini review of Babolat VS / AK Pro CX17 - compared to Babolat VS / Isospeed Professional Classic 17 both installed at same tension in two matched Angell TC95 [...]
Thanks for your detailed review! I have also recently tried a similar setup in my TC95, with Tonic+/AK Pro CX17, and I'm not sure I like the feeling that much. Granted, I asked for 61.5/59.5, and I am used to lower tensions (16g poly at 50/48 or lower, 16g multi such as velocity at 54/52). Maybe I should try it again, lower, but I'll wait it out first. I'm not even sure whether to lower the mains, crosses, or both. What tensions did you use in your TC95? Cheers!
 
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Happi

Semi-Pro
Thanks for your detailed review! I have also recently tried a similar setup in my TC95, with Tonic+/AK Pro CX17, and I'm not sure I like the feeling that much. Granted, I asked for 61.5/59.5, and I am used to lower tensions (poly at 50/48 or lower, multi such as velocity at 54/52). Maybe I should try it again, lower, but I'll wait it out first. I'm not even sure whether to lower the mains, crosses, or both. What tensions did you use in your TC95? Cheers!
I strung at 24kg / 23kg and I think that’s around 53/51 in pounds. So about the same as your velocity setup. The good part with isospeed is that you can string higher like you did and still have a very soft setup, not sure how CX takes high tension.
 

Sharkall

New User
I strung at 24kg / 23kg and I think that’s around 53/51 in pounds. So about the same as your velocity setup. The good part with isospeed is that you can string higher like you did and still have a very soft setup, not sure how CX takes high tension.
Thanks a lot! Yeah I thought I should put it in tighter than the Velocity setup, so I went up 2-3kg. I will see if I can get my hand on isospeed to try it out, though I would have preferred something > 1.20. I assume the gut is ok with 27kg, so if I try this setup again I will start by lowering the CX first.
 

Happi

Semi-Pro
Thanks a lot! Yeah I thought I should put it in tighter than the Velocity setup, so I went up 2-3kg. I will see if I can get my hand on isospeed to try it out, though I would have preferred something > 1.20. I assume the gut is ok with 27kg, so if I try this setup again I will start by lowering the CX first.
just cut out the crosses When mounted in the stringing machine (I do that all the time, With no problem at all) and replace CX with Iso and you will save the gut and have a great setup.
 

Happi

Semi-Pro
Hey thanks, I am going to put that on my list to try. Also like the fact that it's 16 gauge too.
you are welcome

Actually isospeed professional is 17g the 16g version is called isospeed control. Its a multi and excellent as a cross for gut
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Strung up VS Touch 1.30 64 lbs / AK PRO CX 1.24 64 lbs in my Wilson Ultra 95 and I like it much better than when I strung the crosses at 62. I think i may have found my tension! Hopefully it holds up for 2-3 weeks.
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
Strung up VS Touch 1.30 64 lbs / AK PRO CX 1.24 64 lbs in my Wilson Ultra 95 and I like it much better than when I strung the crosses at 62. I think i may have found my tension! Hopefully it holds up for 2-3 weeks.
Please let us know how many hours you get out of this combination.
Both at the same tension. Interesting. I think I would have done the same thing, string the crosses lower.
 

Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
My string shipment finally arrived.

Here is one of my Vcore Pro 97's with Babolat VS Touch 1.30mm in Black / Gosen AK Pro CX 1.24mm in Black. With a fresh black Yonex Super Grap it looks amazing... hard to do it justice with phone pics because it is so dark.

I strung it at 64/60lb again, 10% pre stretch. Will be comparing it directly with my setup from the original post.

 

Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
Mini review of Babolat VS / AK Pro CX17 - compared to Babolat VS / Isospeed Professional Classic 17 both installed at same tension in two matched Angell TC95

I was really exited to read this thread and may positive reviews, as I am always looking for at good soft cross string for Gut this is really in my wheelhouse.

String: Like the Gosen very much, super soft and smooth. Iso have more coil and is kind of stiffer.
Stringing: Goes to Gosen, very nice string to be stringing, except more problems with blocked holes in the TC95 (you Angell guys knows what I am talking about here)
Power: it it a tie, both powerful setup. However I think Iso is better at taming the Gut.
Spin: it is a tie too - both are not as spin friendly as gut / poly.
Control: I have more control with Gut / Iso as it plays much more consistant for a much longer period.
Feel: Gut / Iso wins by a good margin, Gut / Gosen almost felt stiff compared.
Comfort: Both setup are very comfort, but Gut / Iso is the winner by a good margin.
String movement: This is an issue for me as I hate string movement. After 30 minutes the Gut moves a lot in the Gut / Gosen setup, even worse after 1 or 2 hours, I need to cut it out since I need to adjust strings after every point. Gut / Iso does not move at all, this is the best setup Gut / multi or Gut / synthesis gut so far I have encountered. Even better than some Gut / poly.
Tension loss: Gut / Gosen holds tension better, but Gut / Iso will settle after an initial tension loss and play consistant for a long time.

Dont get me wrong, I like the Gosen AK Pro CX it is great string, and I will try it soon in a FB - but as a cross to gu,t Isospeed Professional Classic 17 is superior if you want a better feel, and a consistant stringbed without string movement. It is almost like the Gut and Iso are made for each other. If you go to the string database here at TWU, Gut and Iso are the only two strings that have almost the same stiffness between the 3 tension settings. You can thus string it at higher tension without the stringbed getting stiff.

I hope other will try out both combos side by side and give their opinion too.

Of cause this is only my opinion, as with so many other things you have to try it out for your self. I have been buying so many strings based on good reviews here, only to find I had the opposite opinion.

Cheers, H :)
Great review. I have never tried Isospeed Professional Classic but I will add it on the to-do list. The only polyoelfin string I have tried before is RIP Control and it was quite nice actually as a full bed!
 

aaron_h27

Professional
@Yoneyama I'm having issues with breakage at grommets, VS Touch mains 1.30 strung at 64 lbs in a Wilson Ultra Tour 95. It's a brand new racket. Could it be the stringer? No pre-stretch.
 
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Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
@Yoneyama I'm having issues with breakage at grommets, VS Touch mains 1.30 strung at 64 lbs in a Wilson Ultra Tour 95. It's a brand new racket. Could it be the stringer? No pre-stretch.

Got any pictures? If it is breaking at grommets and has happened more than once then it would either be one of three things:

1. a defective grommet or

2. if it on the tie-offs, the knot technique used by the stringer may be incorrect (such as pulling way too hard or tieing gut off on poly/syngut).

3. Highly unlikely but if the stringer pulled the string at an unnatural angle then the string may have sheared against the grommet which would cause damage. But this is hard to do as almost all stringing machines these days have turntables that will automatically correct the angle.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Got any pictures? If it is breaking at grommets and has happened more than once then it would either be one of three things:

1. a defective grommet or

2. if it on the tie-offs, the knot technique used by the stringer may be incorrect (such as pulling way too hard or tieing gut off on poly/syngut).

3. Highly unlikely but if the stringer pulled the string at an unnatural angle then the string may have sheared against the grommet which would cause damage. But this is hard to do as almost all stringing machines these days have turntables that will automatically correct the angle.
My stringer does tie off gut on poly/syngut, maybe that could be the issue. I don't think its the grommet's because the rackets are brand new.
 

Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
My stringer does tie off gut on poly/syngut, maybe that could be the issue. I don't think its the grommet's because the rackets are brand new.
That could be the issue. If it is gut mains and you have crosses that are poly/syngut/multi and they are being tied off on the gut, then they can cause premature breakage where the knot was, especially if they are tied off too aggressively on the gut. When tieing off gut I always just hand pull the knots as opposed to using a starting clamp to pull it as I would other string types. Gut is way more elastic so it risks being crushed / pinched if it is pulled with a clamp or if a non-elastic cross is tied off on it.

With my setups I always have a gut main so it gets tied off on gut, then I ensure whatever cross string I use I tie it off on itself too. A lot of racquets will have tie off holes where you can access the mains or crosses, so using the cross option is the safer bet.
 
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