Is synthetic gut (or any string more powerful than poly) better in smaller heads and/or denser patterns?

cortado

Professional
If one were committing to using synthetic gut, do you think it's better to use a smaller head and/or denser string pattern?
I use a 90 16x19, and sometimes 97 16x20. The 97 is much more of a rocket-launcher with old strings and hot weather.
The 90 I can just leave the strings in there forever and it's always playable.
Is poly better for larger heads, to tame their power?
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
Definitely more control, using something like a 95 18/20 or just an 18/20 would help bring control. I also raise my multifilament/syn gut tension to around 57/58, I’m assuming you string around there.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
If one were committing to using synthetic gut, do you think it's better to use a smaller head and/or denser string pattern?
I use a 90 16x19, and sometimes 97 16x20. The 97 is much more of a rocket-launcher with old strings and hot weather.
The 90 I can just leave the strings in there forever and it's always playable.
Is poly better for larger heads, to tame their power?
Yes, softer strings play better & have better longevity in smaller heads, denser patterns. That has been my experience.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
If one were committing to using synthetic gut, do you think it's better to use a smaller head and/or denser string pattern?
I use a 90 16x19, and sometimes 97 16x20. The 97 is much more of a rocket-launcher with old strings and hot weather.
The 90 I can just leave the strings in there forever and it's always playable.
Is poly better for larger heads, to tame their power?
I pretty much use syn. gut in my racquets all the time - and I string at home. I'm happy with syn. gut because it gives me a moderate degree of softness - my 54 year old arm has absolutely zero tolerance for polys - and I very much like the sort of crisp and snappy feel I get with this sting compared with multis. While I haven't "committed" to syn. gut, it generally makes me really happy. Different gauges and tensions of this string work better for me in different racquets though.

I have several frames in my collection, including a couple different mids like the Head LM Prestige and the Prince NXG mid. Both of these have 18x20 string patterns and they both seem much better with a 17 ga. syn. gut compared with a 16 ga., but I'm talking about my personal preferences with feel, etc. I absolutely agree that it seems like I can just string a mid with a syn. gut and it's good to go for me for the duration until those strings pop.

If somebody brought me a 95"-98" frame with a dense string pattern (18x20) and didn't necessarily want a poly in a that frame, my first option would be to go with a 17 ga. syn. gut in that sort of layout. I find that a 16 ga. syn. gut in a dense pattern can get pretty clunky compared with a thinner string. But that head size with a more open 16 main pattern would probably be good for a lot of players strung with a 16 ga. alternative.

Poly can help with taming the power of frames with larger heads, but that's assuming that the player can actually generate the swing speeds to get the performance benefits of poly. Many half-decent recreational players who don't swing as fast as Div-I college killers don't get much help from poly, but I suppose that many folks think it's "better" string either because stronger players often use it or because it doesn't physically snap as quickly as syn. gut or multi.

Some of the ultra open "spin pattern" frames that were in fashion a few years ago would quickly chew up softer strings like multis and syn. guts. Aside from Kevlar strings which aren't especially common now, tougher poly strings have seemed to be the only ones that could offer more service life in those racquets.

Not all syn. guts are the same. Forten Sweet is very soft - it can actually work as a cheap alternative to a multi in some frames, but the 17 ga. version is a little fragile. Prince Original SG and Volkl Classic are examples of moderately soft syn. guts, but Gosen OG Sheep Micro is more firm than most others. That Gosen is nicely durable and can work great as a cross in a poly hybrid, but a full bed of it in 16 ga. can easily be too stiff for some players, even if it's installed at the middle of a racquet's recommended tension range.

Two syn. guts with tougher outer wraps are Prince SG w/Duraflex and Gamma SG w/WearGuard. I pretty much never use these just because they feel too stiff and clunky - not worth the extra service life. I've gotten away with the 17 ga. Prince w/Duraflex in the past at lower tension, but I just don't care for the 16.
 

cortado

Professional
Your thoughts on 17 vs 16 ga chime with mine. I have 2 of the 90 inch heads, both 16x19. Prince syn gut duraflex 17 in one, Ashaway Liberty 16 in the other. Much less string movement with the 16ga, but it doesn't feel as nice as the 17ga.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
I bet a 90 with cyclone tour 1.10 at 60lbs is worth a try. Dunno about the durability, tho...
 
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