BT7: Exactly what do you NOT like about it

McLovin

Legend
OK, so I've been using Pacific Classic 17g mains / some form of poly crosses (currently MSV Co Focus) for ~ 5 years now. About 6 months ago I got a deal on some older Wilson Gut 17 (pre-BT7) and gave it a try. I must say that I could tell a difference in feel & power. Whether is was worth the extra $12 per pack is debatable, but that's for another discussion. After using the Wilson, I decided to give VS a try, but all that was available was BT7 (VS Team, 17g).

After 3 weeks of using it, I am very disappointed. I strung it the same as I do the other gut/poly setups (54 gut mains/52 poly crosses), and it just plays terribly.

What I'd like to know is, for those who have used it, and have used the pre-BT7, exactly what don't you like about it? I'm not giving my opinion just yet as I'd like to not influence the discussion at first. I'd like to see if people have the same opinion as I do, or if its all in my head.
 

Muppet

Legend
I tried Tonic+ 16 once. The picture on the TW website doesn't show a pack with BT7 clearly marked on the front. But that's what you get. The string turned out to be very firm and low powered when strung with a dropweight machine at 58. The racquet was the one in my sig.

The only reason I can think of why they would make a popular, soft gut stiff and low powered would be to target the players who are using gut for poly hybrids. The BT7 gut can be strung much lower, closer to the tension of the poly.
 
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Deleted member 120290

Guest
I used VS Team pre-BT7 in a gut/poly hybrid with Ltec 4S. FANTASTIC feel and comfort. It's really like buttah. However it didn't last very long. When I ran out I started using BT7/4S. It feels crisper, lasts a little longer but is not as comfortable esp. in cold conditions.

Now I use BT7/yptp. It feels very comfortable, gives me great spin, control and pop for 8 hours before gut snaps. For pure gut comfort and feel, nothing beats pre-BT7 VS team. But for gut/poly hybrid, BT7/poly is very good. Just don't expect the old, pillowy gut feel and comfort.
 

BLX_Andy

Professional
If I never hit with Pre-BT7 Babolat gut before and I'm thinking of making a Gut/Poly hybrid with it, should I pull the trigger? Or just look for another brand?
 

esgee48

Legend
Hit with racquets with Wilson NG and the other with Bab NG (Bt7). Bab NG / Bt7 just feels stiffer and less powerful. Same tension. 2 cents.
 

TobyTopspin

Professional
The new BT7 gut is a lot stiffer. It feels almost like there is a thin plastic coating in the string that is unseeable by the naked eye. It does seem to last a little longer and maintain its tension longer an other guts, but it never feels as good as the original Babolat natural gut.
 

Rjtennis

Hall of Fame
I have a bunch of sets of bt7 and pre-bt7 VS Touch. What frustrates me with the Bt7 is that it plays very stiff when new. After a few hitting sessions it softens up, but it still is not as soft as the original VS nor as powerful. It does have added durability, but that is about the only upside. I still do not mind playing with it, but the original VS is a better string for me.
 

Swan Song

Professional
For the folks that are using the Wilson Natural Gut, I believe the newer batches have transitioned onto the BT7.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame
I've used both VS BT7 and Wilson Gut. For every string, I had to find the right tension combo (gut\poly) for my game. Firm plays more consistent, while lively rockets more shots out. My favorite is still Pacific Tough Gut for predictability and consistency. The Bab/Wilson are too lively, and I miss my target more often.

I don't care about how "plush" the feeling is. As long as my arm doesn't hurt, I care most strongly about hitting my target when I need to.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
The new BT7 gut is a lot stiffer. It feels almost like there is a thin plastic coating in the string that is unseeable by the naked eye. It does seem to last a little longer and maintain its tension longer an other guts, but it never feels as good as the original Babolat natural gut.
BT7 is not a coating but a structural change to the gut. It now uses less ribbons of gut but the ribbons are thicker. BT7 is 7 thicker ribbons of gut where the original formula was 15 ribbons of gut. That is why BT7 feels and plays stiffer with less power. But the folks in Lyon claim it plays the same as the original.:evil: So it looks like, unfortunately BT7 is here to stay.:(
 

TobyTopspin

Professional
BT7 is not a coating but a structural change to the gut. It now uses less ribbons of gut but the ribbons are thicker. BT7 is 7 thicker ribbons of gut where the original formula was 15 ribbons of gut. That is why BT7 feels and plays stiffer with less power. But the folks in Lyon claim it plays the same as the original.:evil: So it looks like, unfortunately BT7 is here to stay.:(
I was just trying to describe the feeling of BT7. I know it doesn't have an extra coating. We definitely share a hatred for this string though. Id just as soon use a synthetic gut than use the BT7 crap.
 

McLovin

Legend
So, judging from the comments, it wasn't all in my head.

Comparing to Wilson 'Non-BT7' (of which I still have 3 packs), my feelings would be that BT7:
- is much stiffer, which results in less feel
- is lower powered
- generates less spin​
Not exactly 3 qualities I'd want in a $46 pack of string. I didn't make it to the 'durability' phase as I (1) usually don't break strings indoors, and (2) just couldn't play with it anymore. I'm pretty certain even Pacific Classic plays better than BT7.

The day I started this thread I pulled out a frame with the Wilson and noticed a huge difference right away. What a disappointment, but what's worse is I still have 1/2 a pack of BT7. WTF do I do with it?
 

mikeler

Moderator
So, judging from the comments, it wasn't all in my head.

Comparing to Wilson 'Non-BT7' (of which I still have 3 packs), my feelings would be that BT7:
- is much stiffer, which results in less feel
- is lower powered
- generates less spin​
Not exactly 3 qualities I'd want in a $46 pack of string. I didn't make it to the 'durability' phase as I (1) usually don't break strings indoors, and (2) just couldn't play with it anymore. I'm pretty certain even Pacific Classic plays better than BT7.

The day I started this thread I pulled out a frame with the Wilson and noticed a huge difference right away. What a disappointment, but what's worse is I still have 1/2 a pack of BT7. WTF do I do with it?
I'll send you my mailing address.
 
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Deleted member 120290

Guest
So, judging from the comments, it wasn't all in my head.

Comparing to Wilson 'Non-BT7' (of which I still have 3 packs), my feelings would be that BT7:
- is much stiffer, which results in less feel
- is lower powered
- generates less spin​
1. Stiffer but not MUCH stiffer. Still feels like gut.
2. Lower powered, yes. But not a bad thing when you are looking for control in gut/poly hybrid. Like UCSF 2012 said, I'd rather have more control than power as long as it doesn't hurt arm.
3. I don't think it generates less spin.

If you want pillowy comfort and feel of traditional gut esp. in a full bed, then BT7 is definitely not for you. But for gut/poly players who hit relatively hard and want more control, and do not want to string 10lbs apart, BT7 works better. I actually prefer BT7 over old VS in gut/yptp hybrid.
 

McLovin

Legend
OK, I'll grant you that 'MUCH' is subjective, but this is supposed to be the Gold Standard of gut, and to be honest, I can't see the advantage of paying $46 when (to me) it plays no better than a $29 gut.

Also, while spin is dependent upon may factors, when you have the exact same frame under the exact same conditions, and the only thing that has changed is the gut, well, something has to carry the blame.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
So, judging from the comments, it wasn't all in my head.

Comparing to Wilson 'Non-BT7' (of which I still have 3 packs), my feelings would be that BT7:
- is much stiffer, which results in less feel
- is lower powered
- generates less spin​
Not exactly 3 qualities I'd want in a $46 pack of string. I didn't make it to the 'durability' phase as I (1) usually don't break strings indoors, and (2) just couldn't play with it anymore. I'm pretty certain even Pacific Classic plays better than BT7.

The day I started this thread I pulled out a frame with the Wilson and noticed a huge difference right away. What a disappointment, but what's worse is I still have 1/2 a pack of BT7. WTF do I do with it?
Please voice how you feel about BT7 to the Babolat Official. He does give our feedback to Lyon. So hopefully we can get the real VS Gut back and not have the imitation BT7 anymore.
 

jim e

Legend
Please voice how you feel about BT7 to the Babolat Official. He does give our feedback to Lyon. So hopefully we can get the real VS Gut back and not have the imitation BT7 anymore.
Not too long ago I ordered a couple dozen sets of Wilson's nat. gut and that is still the old pre BT7 string (I really do not know if I received old stock or if the Wilson's is still the old version at this present time) .
and the Wilson nat gut is made by Babolat, a poster a while back even stated at one time he opened a set of Wilson gut and the string was marked Babolat VS, so until Wilson officially changes their nat. gut you can still get the pre BT7 string by ordering Wilson's.
 

TheRed

Professional
So, judging from the comments, it wasn't all in my head.

Comparing to Wilson 'Non-BT7' (of which I still have 3 packs), my feelings would be that BT7:
- is much stiffer, which results in less feel
- is lower powered
- generates less spin​
Not exactly 3 qualities I'd want in a $46 pack of string. I didn't make it to the 'durability' phase as I (1) usually don't break strings indoors, and (2) just couldn't play with it anymore. I'm pretty certain even Pacific Classic plays better than BT7.

The day I started this thread I pulled out a frame with the Wilson and noticed a huge difference right away. What a disappointment, but what's worse is I still have 1/2 a pack of BT7. WTF do I do with it?

I don't feel the BT7 versions have less power but the feel definitely is stiffer. There's just less feel overall and seemingly less dwell time. The problem of this combination of characteristics for me is that I lose a lot of control b/c while the power is the same, I don't get a feel of where the ball is going. I prefer Pacific classic now.
 

McLovin

Legend
Whhhaaa?!? Any way to tell by looking at the package?
Not sure, but in my quest to find an answer for you, I discovered this:
Wilson Natural Gut is actually cheaper to order directly from Wilson than it is to purchase from any online retailer​
Seriously. I went to Wilson's site, looked up Tennis -> Strings, and Natural Gut is listed at $42.95. Its $46.95 everywhere else. WTH?
 

jim e

Legend
Not sure, but in my quest to find an answer for you, I discovered this:
Wilson Natural Gut is actually cheaper to order directly from Wilson than it is to purchase from any online retailer​
Seriously. I went to Wilson's site, looked up Tennis -> Strings, and Natural Gut is listed at $42.95. Its $46.95 everywhere else. WTH?
Thanks for the tip. You are correct as I looked it up.
 
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scotus

G.O.A.T.
Not sure, but in my quest to find an answer for you, I discovered this:
Wilson Natural Gut is actually cheaper to order directly from Wilson than it is to purchase from any online retailer​
Seriously. I went to Wilson's site, looked up Tennis -> Strings, and Natural Gut is listed at $42.95. Its $46.95 everywhere else. WTH?
I bet TW will match that price if you call in.
 

arche3

Banned
I actually prefer bt7. It better for me in a gut poly hybrid. It basically stays near the strung tension till it breaks.
 

arche3

Banned
Thats true of all high quality natural gut!
Actually bt7 and pre bt7 behaved differently. Old vs gut same gauge droped tension slightly more at first. Same tension same strings. But it held tension the same. Bt7 for me has a smaller initial tension loss.
 

McLovin

Legend
I bet TW will match that price if you call in.
I'm sure they would, but I guess my question is 'why'? Wilson requires them to list it for $46.95 (MAP), but then lists it on their own site for $42.95?

That's like Apple telling Best Buy "Sure, you can sell Mac Minis for $599, but we're selling the same ones for $549". Heck, Wilson is most likely one of the companies that prevented TW from offering 20% off gift cards this year.

I'm not advocating buying from Wilson's site, just confused, that's all.
 

Dags

Hall of Fame
Please voice how you feel about BT7 to the Babolat Official. He does give our feedback to Lyon. So hopefully we can get the real VS Gut back and not have the imitation BT7 anymore.
I recently prompted Daniel about this, and he gave the following response:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7834395&postcount=2128

(it's a 'no' for anyone who doesn't want to click the link.)

I did toy with the idea of setting up a poll in an attempt to show how many of us preferred the old gut, but I get the feeling that they aren't getting the same negative feedback from the pros or major resellers. I fear we may have been labelled as the crazy corner of the internet as far as the strings go!
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I'm sure they would, but I guess my question is 'why'? Wilson requires them to list it for $46.95 (MAP), but then lists it on their own site for $42.95?

That's like Apple telling Best Buy "Sure, you can sell Mac Minis for $599, but we're selling the same ones for $549". Heck, Wilson is most likely one of the companies that prevented TW from offering 20% off gift cards this year.

I'm not advocating buying from Wilson's site, just confused, that's all.
Yeah, Wilson is crossing a line there for sure. I don't know how they expect pro shops with their frames to recommend them over other lines if Wilson is now in competition with them.
 

Fintft

Legend
Actually bt7 and pre bt7 behaved differently. Old vs gut same gauge droped tension slightly more at first. Same tension same strings. But it held tension the same. Bt7 for me has a smaller initial tension loss.

True and also (at least to me), BT7 doesn't feel as stiff after a couple of days or so (of course prestretched manually first etc).

I also play with the thinnest possible now: 17 in VS Team.
 

arche3

Banned
True and also (at least to me), BT7 doesn't feel as stiff after a couple of days or so (of course prestretched manually first etc).

I also play with the thinnest possible now: 17 in VS Team.
I prefer the 16g vs bt7. With 16g 4G cross it really has all the benefits of a full poly job with gut softness added in.
I might try 17g 4G cross but im playing well so don't want to bother.
 

TheRed

Professional
Yeah, Wilson is crossing a line there for sure. I don't know how they expect pro shops with their frames to recommend them over other lines if Wilson is now in competition with them.
My guess is that Wilson just didn't update the price on their website after forcing retailers to. Since they're not a retailer with as many hits per day, they're not as careful with pricing and other info on their site.
 
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McLovin

Legend
My guess is that Wilson just didn't update the price on their website after forcing retailers to. Since their not a retailer with as many hits per day, they're not as careful with pricing and other info on their site.
I might believe that, except that it was raised to $44.95 back in April: (or earlier)
and then again to $46.95 in October (or maybe earlier, but October is all the Wayback Machine has):

But 8 months for the sale of something so tightly controlled is odd.

Anyway, I'm finished w/ this gut and likely never going back. I have 3 packs of the pre-BT7 I'll finish out, and hopefully by then the bad batches of Pacific will have been replaced w/ the good quality I used to use.
 
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