Natural Gut and Zyex...Maybe You Can Have It All?

Arvin_C

New User
Hello all!

So, I have just finished about 20 hours on one of my Pro Staff 97L Camo CV's that I have strung up with Klip Legend 17 natural gut mains (58 lbs.) and Ashaway Monogut ZX Pro Zyex crosses (54 lbs.) and I can honestly say that this hybrid setup is simply incredible. For background, I have always hit with fairly flat strokes, continental grip on my backhand and serves, semi-western on my forehand, one-handed on both sides. I grew up playing Kevlar and natural gut, not because I'm a string breaker (I'm not), but because of the muted, "boardy" feel I enjoyed from this combo and the ability to string it high so I could hit it hard. Now that I'm in my late 40's and don't generate as much pace and depth as I used to, I began experimenting with different string setups, looking for a similar muted feel, but with more "built-in" comfort, power and spin. I first tried a Federer set-up (poly/natural gut), but never felt like I was getting the most out of it...I just didn't "rip" enough stroke-wise at the ball.

In this setup, the Ashaway Monogut ZX has been a revelation. I was initially skeptical about giving Zyex-based strings another try; when they first came out in the 80's, they were not very durable (the coatings frayed like crazy and left the filaments exposed) and tension loss was sudden and dramatic. However, the Monogut ZX's monofilament construction has not only maintained its tension, but the smooth surface has proven to be incredibly slippery, allowing the natural gut to slide more easily and practically eliminating notching. This has really improved the longevity of the natural gut, which always suffered against Kevlar or the poly I tried.

As for how this set-up feels and plays, the Monogut ZX is a perfect cross string to blend with natural gut if you're looking to tame some of the power you would get from a full bed of natural gut, without losing much (if any) of the spin potential and comfort. The feel is decidedly muted and plush...not a lot of vibration makes it through to your arm. What's most impressive is the amount of spin I'm getting...even with my flat strokes, there's enough natural spin being generated that I can feel comfortable to swing hard and keep the ball in play. Finally, there's a ton of power in this setup, so I'm getting all the pace and depth I need.

I still may try increasing tensions to dial it in just a bit more, but I honestly can't find any fault with the way this setup works. It plays great, is way more comfortable than when I've blended Kevlar or poly and has proven to be very durable...both in maintaining tension and resisting notching/breaking. If you've been looking for a great playing string to combo with natural gut, I highly recommend giving this setup a try.
 
Hello all!

So, I have just finished about 20 hours on one of my Pro Staff 97L Camo CV's that I have strung up with Klip Legend 17 natural gut mains (58 lbs.) and Ashaway Monogut ZX Pro Zyex crosses (54 lbs.) and I can honestly say that this hybrid setup is simply incredible. For background, I have always hit with fairly flat strokes, continental grip on my backhand and serves, semi-western on my forehand, one-handed on both sides. I grew up playing Kevlar and natural gut, not because I'm a string breaker (I'm not), but because of the muted, "boardy" feel I enjoyed from this combo and the ability to string it high so I could hit it hard. Now that I'm in my late 40's and don't generate as much pace and depth as I used to, I began experimenting with different string setups, looking for a similar muted feel, but with more "built-in" comfort, power and spin. I first tried a Federer set-up (poly/natural gut), but never felt like I was getting the most out of it...I just didn't "rip" enough stroke-wise at the ball.

In this setup, the Ashaway Monogut ZX has been a revelation. I was initially skeptical about giving Zyex-based strings another try; when they first came out in the 80's, they were not very durable (the coatings frayed like crazy and left the filaments exposed) and tension loss was sudden and dramatic. However, the Monogut ZX's monofilament construction has not only maintained its tension, but the smooth surface has proven to be incredibly slippery, allowing the natural gut to slide more easily and practically eliminating notching. This has really improved the longevity of the natural gut, which always suffered against Kevlar or the poly I tried.

As for how this set-up feels and plays, the Monogut ZX is a perfect cross string to blend with natural gut if you're looking to tame some of the power you would get from a full bed of natural gut, without losing much (if any) of the spin potential and comfort. The feel is decidedly muted and plush...not a lot of vibration makes it through to your arm. What's most impressive is the amount of spin I'm getting...even with my flat strokes, there's enough natural spin being generated that I can feel comfortable to swing hard and keep the ball in play. Finally, there's a ton of power in this setup, so I'm getting all the pace and depth I need.

I still may try increasing tensions to dial it in just a bit more, but I honestly can't find any fault with the way this setup works. It plays great, is way more comfortable than when I've blended Kevlar or poly and has proven to be very durable...both in maintaining tension and resisting notching/breaking. If you've been looking for a great playing string to combo with natural gut, I highly recommend giving this setup a try.
Great write up! What tensions did you use?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
Hello all!

So, I have just finished about 20 hours on one of my Pro Staff 97L Camo CV's that I have strung up with Klip Legend 17 natural gut mains (58 lbs.) and Ashaway Monogut ZX Pro Zyex crosses (54 lbs.) and I can honestly say that this hybrid setup is simply incredible. For background, I have always hit with fairly flat strokes, continental grip on my backhand and serves, semi-western on my forehand, one-handed on both sides. I grew up playing Kevlar and natural gut, not because I'm a string breaker (I'm not), but because of the muted, "boardy" feel I enjoyed from this combo and the ability to string it high so I could hit it hard. Now that I'm in my late 40's and don't generate as much pace and depth as I used to, I began experimenting with different string setups, looking for a similar muted feel, but with more "built-in" comfort, power and spin. I first tried a Federer set-up (poly/natural gut), but never felt like I was getting the most out of it...I just didn't "rip" enough stroke-wise at the ball.

In this setup, the Ashaway Monogut ZX has been a revelation. I was initially skeptical about giving Zyex-based strings another try; when they first came out in the 80's, they were not very durable (the coatings frayed like crazy and left the filaments exposed) and tension loss was sudden and dramatic. However, the Monogut ZX's monofilament construction has not only maintained its tension, but the smooth surface has proven to be incredibly slippery, allowing the natural gut to slide more easily and practically eliminating notching. This has really improved the longevity of the natural gut, which always suffered against Kevlar or the poly I tried.

As for how this set-up feels and plays, the Monogut ZX is a perfect cross string to blend with natural gut if you're looking to tame some of the power you would get from a full bed of natural gut, without losing much (if any) of the spin potential and comfort. The feel is decidedly muted and plush...not a lot of vibration makes it through to your arm. What's most impressive is the amount of spin I'm getting...even with my flat strokes, there's enough natural spin being generated that I can feel comfortable to swing hard and keep the ball in play. Finally, there's a ton of power in this setup, so I'm getting all the pace and depth I need.

I still may try increasing tensions to dial it in just a bit more, but I honestly can't find any fault with the way this setup works. It plays great, is way more comfortable than when I've blended Kevlar or poly and has proven to be very durable...both in maintaining tension and resisting notching/breaking. If you've been looking for a great playing string to combo with natural gut, I highly recommend giving this setup a try.
Zx will tear through gut much faster than round poly. At least, that was my experience.
 

Arvin_C

New User
That sounds good. How did the tension hold up on the Zx with the natural gut mains?
The Monogut ZX has been excellent as far as maintaining tension...which is exactly opposite of what I was used to when Zyex first came out in multi-filament form. I am very happy to say that at about 20 hours in, I have not noticed enough tension loss to make me go to my back-up racquet yet. Back when I was using Kevlar/natural gut, I could keep it in my racquet for a long time since natural gut just seems to hold tension until it breaks. In this setup, the Monogut seems to be keeping its tension just as well as the natural gut so far...Very impressed!
 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
@scotus , The only guy I occasionally hit with who destroys strings that fast is this young dude from Lithuania who is a UTR 12+. His buddy used to go through 16g 4G in less than 2 hrs. That guy, from Brazil, told me he would need a good job after graduation just to pay for string. It still amazes me, (64 yr old) how much racket head speed these "going nowhere in tennis" kids can develop where they can enjoy poly for what it gives them in so short of string life span. Seems if you are a "young gun" with good racket head speed you absolutely have to get your own stringing machine if you want to continue to play tennis with a job in the "normal" working world. I use Ashaway Kevlar mains x Zyex crosses to simulate a good poly fullbed. I really enjoy a full bed of Tour Bite for about 4 hrs of playing time. I play Ash Kev x Zyex until the Kevlar shreds against the Zyex, which for me lasts weeks, not hours. Any kevlar/aramid other than Ashaway is of no interest to me because I have tried them.
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
@scotus , The only guy I occasionally hit with who destroys strings that fast is this young dude from Lithuania who is a UTR 12+. His buddy used to go through 16g 4G in less than 2 hrs. That guy, from Brazil, told me he would need a good job after graduation just to pay for string. It still amazes me, (64 yr old) how much racket head speed these "going nowhere in tennis" kids can develop where they can enjoy poly for what it gives them in so short of string life span. Seems if you are a "young gun" with good racket head speed you absolutely have to get your own stringing machine if you want to continue to play tennis with a job in the "normal" working world. I use Ashaway Kevlar mains x Zyex crosses to simulate a good poly fullbed. I really enjoy a full bed of Tour Bite for about 4 hrs of playing time. I play Ash Kev x Zyex until the Kevlar shreds against the Zyex, which for me lasts weeks, not hours. Any kevlar/aramid other than Ashaway is of no interest to me because I have tried them.
I don't shred poly, let alone Kevlar. But natural gut wears out quickly when paired with ZX cross.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
There is a big difference using Klip Legend( Coated) Gut and other gut strings in terms of longevity. Klip Legend lasts about 3 times longer in my RF97’s than VS Touch for instance.
Tempted to try Legend/Zx.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Just got back from my initial play (2 sets of dubs) with Leg. Uncoated 16 and 16 zx natural and I too am super impressed with it.

Wonderful plush, but not mushy, feel. Just the right kind of feedback from the ball. ZX tames the power nicely. Excellent spin when I wanted and good depth control. Ive used a number of different poly crosses in the past, and they've all introduced a bit of disconnection and shock to my wrist that obviously would like to avoid while at the same time not offering any pluses.

This was @ 53 with a moderate prestretch on the ZX. Will go up next time on the main tension and probably do a prestretch on the gut also since my SM results are showing a fairly big drop in the center mains.

Great combo for an attack allcourt type player with a tighter pattern, imho.
Might also want to take into account that this is a fairly heavy string combo.
 

Arvin_C

New User
There is a big difference using Klip Legend( Coated) Gut and other gut strings in terms of longevity. Klip Legend lasts about 3 times longer in my RF97’s than VS Touch for instance.
Tempted to try Legend/Zx.
100% agree...one of the primary reasons I prefer Klip Legend is because of the coating they use; very durable and slicker than you typically find in natural gut. I also surmise that this coating gives Klip Legend a firmer feel, which matches well with my preference for a "boardy" string bed.

Another factor I like is that this is a very economical hybrid for the amount of performance I'm getting...just under $23 bucks for each Legend/ZX Pro set that I prepare.
 

Arvin_C

New User
Just got back from my initial play (2 sets of dubs) with Leg. Uncoated 16 and 16 zx natural and I too am super impressed with it.

Wonderful plush, but not mushy, feel. Just the right kind of feedback from the ball. ZX tames the power nicely. Excellent spin when I wanted and good depth control. Ive used a number of different poly crosses in the past, and they've all introduced a bit of disconnection and shock to my wrist that obviously would like to avoid while at the same time not offering any pluses.

This was @ 53 with a moderate prestretch on the ZX. Will go up next time on the main tension and probably do a prestretch on the gut also since my SM results are showing a fairly big drop in the center mains.

Great combo for an attack allcourt type player with a tighter pattern, imho.
Might also want to take into account that this is a fairly heavy string combo.
@2nd Serve Ace - (y) Curious for your feedback on how you felt the cupping/sliding action (if any) of the Klip UNCOATED nat gut with the ZX crosses?
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
@2nd Serve Ace - (y) Curious for your feedback on how you felt the cupping/sliding action (if any) of the Klip UNCOATED nat gut with the ZX crosses?
I find both versions of Leg. have tremendous resiliency/elastic properties and snapback great with both ZX or a smooth poly cross for their entire life in the frame.

Pocketing feel to me is a bit of a weak point with both versions of L as it plays much firmer than VS for example especially with a poly cross. The move to L/ZX noticeably reduced the boardy feel from the stringbed, giving it a nice plush, consistent response, but at the same time not trampolining/launching the ball much.

For the L versions, (coated, un) the latter has a bit more of a "raw" feel I guess, but coated is nice, lasts a bit longer and a bit more muted in feel. If you like to move forward, uncoated probably is the way to go, baseliners would likely appreciate regular L moreso.

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Arvin_C

New User
Played another 3 hours today with same Pro Staff 97L CV...Legend nat gut and ZX Pro are holding up beautifully, both physically and tension-wise. Like I said earlier, my strokes are pretty flat, so definitely kinder to my strings than spin-heavy players. But, still...I am finding this combination to be an incredible blend of playability, durability and comfort.

I may try to string the gut to 60 lbs. and lower the ZX to 50 lbs. just to see what wider tension difference would be like...
 

jbm

Rookie
I am finding much more comfort with Lux NG crossed with ZX 16g than with Hyper G. Snap back, while not as good with a poly cross, is still manageable. Tried Velocity as a cross and had to keep straightening strings. My control gets better the more I use this NG ZX setup but still needs work. Hoping to get it figured out before my finicky mind has me searching again. :)
 
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