Rabbit's Cavalcade of Natural Gut

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I have been remiss in a review of Pacific's Bull Gut (I have a set). I have gone back to a full setup of natural gut and thought this to be an opportune time to review a series of different natural guts. Here is the upcoming list:

  1. Pacific 17L - Completed
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8208867#post8208867
  2. Pacific Classic 16L - Completed
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8208872&posted=1#post8208872
  3. Pacific Tough 16L - Completed
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8208879&posted=1#post8208879
  4. Pacific Prime 16L - Completed
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8208886&posted=1#post8208886
  5. Pacific Orange Bull 16L - In progress
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8208888&posted=1#post8208888
  6. Pacific Bull Gut 16L - Strung
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8208891&posted=1#post8208891
  7. Klip Legend Tour 17 - Completed
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8311567&posted=1#post8311567
  8. Pacific Classic 17 - In process
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8326890&postcount=171
  9. Pacific Prime 17
  10. Babolat Tonic 15L (<1.35) - Completed
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8311567&posted=1#post8311567
  11. Pacific Tough 17 - Pending
  12. Announcement of my favorite - Pacific Tough any gauge

Racquet is a Wilson 6.1 16 X 18. Unless otherwise noted, tension is 58. Scale is a 1-10 format with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. But, the scale is relative.

I had to change the format due to length issues. This is more in line with Mikeler's Multis.

Thanks!
 
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McLovin

Legend
Nice thread! I did something similar last year, only geared towards gut/poly hybrids. I will be interested in hearing your opinion on Klip Legend Tour 17 (the black stuff, correct?) as compared to Pacific Classic.

Also, any chance of adding Prince to that list? I've heard rumors it is made by Babolat, and with TW having a 'buy two for $40 each' sale, I'm somewhat interested.
 

SleepyCoffee

New User
Great thread! Subscribing...

Rabbit - just curious, do you use string savers at all in your tests?

Many people here say gut lasts good to the very end until it breaks and that's true but in my opinion, when you add string savers the playability drops by quite a bit in that extended time. For me, with the way I play, my full bed for gut is good for a month. As I put string savers in towards the end of that month for the weak points, anytime over that month and the playability drops. That's just the way it is for me.

Rabbit - for your Babolat gut play test, is it the new BT7 flavor?
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
McLovin - you're killing me! ;) I suspect by the time I got to Prince's Natural Gut, the sale would be off. I'm kinda stoked about going through the Prime -> Prime Orange -> Bull series right now to tell the truth.

SleepyCoffee - I have used string savers and did on the first two sets of 17L to extend the life. I think for this thread, I'll probably suspend the use as a sacrifice for you guys. Yes, the VS I have is BT7'd.
 
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Valjean

Hall of Fame
Personally, I have turned to Pacific Classic 16L after a considerable time in Babolat's old VS Team.

However--considering the popularity of the topic--I am puzzled that you omitted Wilson's Natural Gut.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Valjean - I am open to donations! The gut inventory I have is based on my preferences and the preferences of those I string for. I nor anyone I string for has an interest in Wilson Natural Gut.
 

McLovin

Legend
Valjean - I am open to donations! The gut inventory I have is based on my preferences and the preferences of those I string for. I nor anyone I string for has an interest in Wilson Natural Gut.
Not to mention that most current stock of Wilson is essentially BT7. If you could get your hands on some old stuff it might be worth it for comparison, but eventually it will go the way of the DoDo bird, unless this thread ever gains traction:
 

julian

Hall of Fame
An orthogonal question

I have been remiss in a review of Pacific's Bull Gut (I have a set). I have gone back to a full setup of natural gut and thought this to be an opportune time to review a series of different natural guts. Here is the upcoming list:

  1. Pacific 17L
  2. Pacific Classic 16L
  3. Pacific Tough 16L
  4. Pacific Prime 16L
  5. Babolat Tonic 15L
  6. Babolat Team 17
  7. Klip Legend 15
  8. Klip Legend Tour 17
This is going to be an on-going thread, I'm not going to cut string out just to get it done quicker, but it should be done in a few months. I'm going to do the first review now and would like any input on format or content you may have.

Racquet is a Wilson 6.1 16 X 18. Unless otherwise noted, tension is 58. Scale is a 1-10 format with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. But, the scale is relative.

Thanks!

Pacific 17L
February 6th, 2014
Some time ago, I acquired a grab bag of gut. In the mix were sets of 17L Pacific. The gut appears to be about 20 or more years old. I mention this only to re-enforce the idea that string really doesn't have a shelf life. In the case of gut, it it's sealed up, it's good.

This gut is copper colored. The only gauge indication is 17L, there is no metric gauge. From a playability standpoint, it is just sublime. It truly doesn't get any better than this. The string has incredible cupping of the ball. As one would expect, comfort is off the charts as well as touch and feel. Also as one would wholly expect, durability isn't this string's long suit. I get about 4 hours out of a set which really isn't bad. Note that I have been playing indoors.

I have gone through three sets of this string and it is very consistent. Stringing was not a problem, after a manual pre-stretch it was docile and strung up very nicely. As with any natural gut, I strongly recommend using a paraffin wax on the mains before stringing the crosses.

Durability - 3
Touch - 9
Power - 9
Control - 9
Bang for $ - 8
Overall - 8

Pacific Classic 16L
February 6th, 2014

This one I'm doing from memory. Classic has long been my "go to" gut. For the price, this one cannot be beat, IMO. It plays firmer than some other guts, plays great from start to finish and is very consistent in all areas. In other words, it doesn't excel at any one thing, but covers everything very well. IME, this gut doesn't fray and get natty, it notches and finally breaks. But it is, before all are reviewed, my declared favorite.

I would never describe Classic as buttery. It is very firm for a natural gut and you can string this gut looser than you normally would other guts because of the firmness. Comfort is good and touch and playability are excellent. The 16L is a perfect gauge as well. Stringing this gut is about as easy as stringing any stiffer multifilament.

Durability - 9
Touch - 7
Power - 6
Control - 9
Bang for $ - 10
Overall - 9.5 (but I'm biased)


Pacific Tough 16L

Pacific Prime 16L

Pacific Orange Bull 16L

Pacific Bull 16L

Babolat Tonic 15L

Babolat Team 17

Klip Legend 15

Klip Legend Tour 17
Do you have any comments about
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=491235
Thank you
Julian W.Mielniczuk
 

JT_2eighty

Hall of Fame
what is Pacific 17L ?? is that pacific classic gut ?
I also have used some older Pacific 17L copper gut. I'm not sure if it's the same batch or type that Rabbit reviewed, but I will say his review is exactly how I thought when I used those two sets. It was my favorite gut ever.

It had the words "Pacific Tournament Pro" printed on it. It played close to the Tough Gut line, definitely crisper than Prime, and not as firm as Classic. It was thin and not durable, but wow did it play perfectly. I remember loading my last one up with 80+ string savers to maximize its life, and they definitely added triple life to the one without savers.


To Rabbit, thanks for starting this thread, it's great to see you start a gut review thread... a long time coming! I still reference this bookmark I have, every now and then (although it references pre-BT7 VS): http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=4187375&postcount=4
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I also have used some older Pacific 17L copper gut. I'm not sure if it's the same batch or type that Rabbit reviewed, but I will say his review is exactly how I thought when I used those two sets. It was my favorite gut ever.

It had the words "Pacific Tournament Pro" printed on it. It played close to the Tough Gut line, definitely crisper than Prime, and not as firm as Classic. It was thin and not durable, but wow did it play perfectly. I remember loading my last one up with 80+ string savers to maximize its life, and they definitely added triple life to the one without savers.


To Rabbit, thanks for starting this thread, it's great to see you start a gut review thread... a long time coming! I still reference this bookmark I have, every now and then (although it references pre-BT7 VS): http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=4187375&postcount=4
It would appear we have the same 17L!!!!! I do love mine as well.
 

McLovin

Legend
Really? How do you know?
I'm not convinced Wilson Natural Gut is now BT7.
You know, I complain so often about people doing what I just did, so please let me rephrase that...

From what I have read here, Wilson Natural gut is starting to show up with 'BT' written on the packaging, and people are claiming it feels stiffer. I cannot confirm that personally as what I have is 'old' stock (blue packaging).

I can confirm that BT7 does play different, and I do not like it.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Natural gut is in such a weird place right now after babolat downgraded their flagship product (and probably took Wilson/Prince with it). Will definitely keep an eye on this thread.

Are you able to evaluate dynamic tension?
 

jacp

New User
Wilson & Prince BT7?

To all Natural Gut fanatics.
Can somebody substantiate claim that Wilson (Red package) & Prince (White/Green package) are indeed BT7? Has anybody played them and BT7 side by side? Different package is not enough to assume. For example: Wilson changing graphics on BLX ProStaff 90 (2013) to say 90, ninety, etc, mean no change.
THX
Jack
2 x PK5G, Wilson NG 17 @ 62 & 63
Dunlop 100 4D, Prince 17 @ 60
BLX PS90, Prince 17 @ 58
 

pennc94

Professional
So where does this purported "BT" show up on Wilson natural gut packages? I have packages in the red (the current packaging) and here is what it shows:

 

struggle

Legend
Re: Klip legend 17.

How do you like it? How's the durability for a 17g? Everytime I try to load up on Klip Legend (15L or 16g), they're gone!

So far so good, I suppose i've had it strung up for a month, likely played about ~12-15 hours (mostly doubles). Microgel Rad MP at 58# (lockout). I like it better as it goes. It has just barely started fraying. I think i was abit rough on it when i strung it, i strung a friends racket about a year ago with the same and it seemed to go smoother. It ended up fine i think.

More power, flatter shots for me. I'm 45 (4.0-ish), played HS in the 80's. Medium topspin, all court style i guess.

I'm not a string breaker, been playing OGSM 17, then some random free gamma multi's lately (16-17g).

I think it might be worth me Hybriding with somethibng like OGSM 17, to be honest. Gonna try it.

Next up is Pacific Classic and maybe some of that cheap **** stuff. not sure, but i know i can go to the klip and be happy.
 
To all Natural Gut fanatics.
Can somebody substantiate claim that Wilson (Red package) & Prince (White/Green package) are indeed BT7? Has anybody played them and BT7 side by side? Different package is not enough to assume. For example: Wilson changing graphics on BLX ProStaff 90 (2013) to say 90, ninety, etc, mean no change.
THX
Jack
2 x PK5G, Wilson NG 17 @ 62 & 63
Dunlop 100 4D, Prince 17 @ 60
BLX PS90, Prince 17 @ 58

Not sure you can tell but the Wilson and Prince I got a couple years ago play very similar to the pre BT7. I guess the only thing you can do is to stock up though it's quite expensive to do so.
 

jacp

New User
Wne BT7 was introduced by Babolat?

Guys,
Does anybody know when BT7 was introduced by Babolat?
There are few possible scenarios:
1. It will take some time for BT7 to trickle down to Wilson & Prince, perhaps until old stock runs out. Wilson & Prince may be prevented from marketing their NG as BT7.
2. Babolat may continue making pre-BT7 stuff for Wilson & Prince so they do not last as long as Babolat, to maintain "Superiority of BT7". This would require more than 1 prod. line or periodical switch-over.

I guess my question is if currently sold Wilson & Prince NG is BT7?
THX
Jack
 

jim e

Legend
At least about 6 months ago the few dozen sets of Wilson nat gut I ordered was not the bt7, but that was 1/2 year ago.Also about 6 months ago I ordered some Babolat VS 16g thermogut from TW and received the old pre bt7 as well. I guess they may have had some old stock they finnaly got rid of to me, but that was okay with me.
Keep in mind this was 6 months ago, things can change.
 

Rjtennis

Hall of Fame
I have purchased many of the red sets of Wilson gut and I haven't come across any that has the BT7. The Wilson gut still plays like the old VS imo. Maybe they are starting to add bt7 now, but I sure hope not.
 

Chotobaka

Hall of Fame
I have been remiss in a review of Pacific's Bull Gut (I have a set). I have gone back to a full setup of natural gut and thought this to be an opportune time to review a series of different natural guts. Here is the upcoming list:

  1. Pacific 17L
  2. Pacific Classic 16L
  3. Pacific Tough 16L
  4. Pacific Prime 16L
  5. Babolat Tonic 15L
  6. Babolat Team 17
  7. Klip Legend 15
  8. Klip Legend Tour 17

This is going to be an on-going thread, I'm not going to cut string out just to get it done quicker, but it should be done in a few months. I'm going to do the first review now and would like any input on format or content you may have.

Racquet is a Wilson 6.1 16 X 18. Unless otherwise noted, tension is 58. Scale is a 1-10 format with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. But, the scale is relative.

Thanks!

Pacific 17L
February 6th, 2014
Some time ago, I acquired a grab bag of gut. In the mix were sets of 17L Pacific. The gut appears to be about 20 or more years old. I mention this only to re-enforce the idea that string really doesn't have a shelf life. In the case of gut, it it's sealed up, it's good.

This gut is copper colored. The only gauge indication is 17L, there is no metric gauge. From a playability standpoint, it is just sublime. It truly doesn't get any better than this. The string has incredible cupping of the ball. As one would expect, comfort is off the charts as well as touch and feel. Also as one would wholly expect, durability isn't this string's long suit. I get about 4 hours out of a set which really isn't bad. Note that I have been playing indoors.

I have gone through three sets of this string and it is very consistent. Stringing was not a problem, after a manual pre-stretch it was docile and strung up very nicely. As with any natural gut, I strongly recommend using a paraffin wax on the mains before stringing the crosses.

Durability - 3
Touch - 9
Power - 9
Control - 9
Bang for $ - 8
Overall - 8

Pacific Classic 16L
February 6th, 2014

This one I'm doing from memory. Classic has long been my "go to" gut. For the price, this one cannot be beat, IMO. It plays firmer than some other guts, plays great from start to finish and is very consistent in all areas. In other words, it doesn't excel at any one thing, but covers everything very well. IME, this gut doesn't fray and get natty, it notches and finally breaks. But it is, before all are reviewed, my declared favorite.

I would never describe Classic as buttery. It is very firm for a natural gut and you can string this gut looser than you normally would other guts because of the firmness. Comfort is good and touch and playability are excellent. The 16L is a perfect gauge as well. Stringing this gut is about as easy as stringing any stiffer multifilament.

Durability - 9
Touch - 7
Power - 6
Control - 9
Bang for $ - 10
Overall - 9.5 (but I'm biased)


Pacific Tough 16L

Pacific Prime 16L

Pacific Orange Bull 16L

Pacific Bull 16L

Babolat Tonic 15L

Babolat Team 17

Klip Legend 15

Klip Legend Tour 17

Super thread, man. Here is one more to try... Bow Brand. This natural gut has a ton of history but seems to have been focused on their musical instrument strings in recent years (especially harp strings). Their natural gut tennis strings look to be more available now with some making their way to the USA. No marketing and no mention on the Bow corporate site, so they are still apparently a bit of a sleeper.

I've just strung up one of my back-up racquets with the 18g [European 7/USA 18] and will try it out over the next couple of weeks. BTW, the 18g sounds crazy for NG, but it looks much more like it is 17-17L. The quality looks and feels exception -- no issues whatsoever while stringing. For those of you not familiar with Bow, they were popular with top professional players in the 80's and 90's. It is a First World string, still made in the UK and much more readily available there than in the USA.
 
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McLovin

Legend
Super tread, man. Here is one more to try... Bow Brand. This natural gut has a ton of history but seems to have been focused on their musical instrument strings in recent years (especially harp strings). Their natural gut tennis strings look to be more available now with some making their way to the USA. No marketing and no mention on the Bow corporate site, so they are still a sleeper.

I've just strung up one of my back-up racquets wit the 18g [European 7/USA 18] and will try it out soon. BTW, the 18g sounds crazy, but it looks much more like it is 17-17L. Quality looks and feels exception while stringing. For those of you not familiar with Bow, they were popular with top professional players in the 80's. It is a First World string, still made in the UK and much more readily available there than in the USA.
Funny, because after this thread popped up, Bow Brand was what immediately came to mind. I even sent them an e-mail to see if they started making it again (haven't heard back from them BTW).

I used it a lot back in the early 2000s. I had an account w/ them, and got 20% off if ordered £200 or more, so I'd stock up (which is where I learned that if kept in an air-tight bag, it would last for years).

Oh, and one of the pros that used Bow Brand? Edberg (Note the 'dot' stencil. That was their tagline: 'play the spot'):

 

Chotobaka

Hall of Fame
Funny, because after this thread popped up, Bow Brand was what immediately came to mind. I even sent them an e-mail to see if they started making it again (haven't heard back from them BTW).

I used it a lot back in the early 2000s. I had an account w/ them, and got 20% off if ordered £200 or more, so I'd stock up (which is where I learned that if kept in an air-tight bag, it would last for years).

Oh, and one of the pros that used Bow Brand? Edberg (Note the 'dot' stencil. That was their tagline: 'play the spot'):

Please do report back on whether you receive a reply -- discounts are always a good thing. It looks like there is only one distributor in the USA so far as I can see. Supply seems relatively steady, but there are times when specific gauges are temporarily out of stock. BTW, do not forget Lendl -- he was a Bow guy too. Great pic!
 
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Chotobaka

Hall of Fame
BDE guts are the closest thing to baboalat gut without paying that price
You always manage to pop off yet remain irrelevant. Unless you can find a NOS set, BDE has not been available for years. So far as being the next best thing to Babolat, BDE was a second tier Aussie string and not even close.
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
You always manage to pop off yet remain irrelevant. Unless you can find a NOS set, BDE has not been available for years. So far as being thex best thing to Babolat, BDE was a second tier Aussie string and not even close.
don't know about you. but I used them all BDE, Bow brand, Babolat, prince, Pacific gut. BDE blows away all of them except Babolat.
 

netguy

Semi-Pro
I see Pacific Tough on your list which is my favorite NG ...looking forward to reading about your experience with it.
 

Kdude

Rookie
I don't have a lot of experience with gut however I tried the Bab tonic last month and it plays really well. Easy on the arm , has durability indoors, (havent tried on clay). The only issue was that it does stretch out..

I was very satisfied with tonic
 

Valjean

Hall of Fame
In 1997 the USRSA sponsored what was termed a "Natural Gut Shoot-Out" featuring six popular natural guts in 15L gauge.

Each string was rated in eight categories, most of which are found in today's playtesting.

Perhaps it is a good starting point for us now, then, as it included playtesters' evaluations for BDE Performance and Bow Brand Championship as well as some usual "suspects", VS, Tonic+, Klip's Legend and Pacific Supreme (the only one clearly not still made).

http://www.racquettech.com/members/sa/1997/199701gut_shootout.html (members only, though!)

I think a lot of the things the playtesters nailed each brand with even hold up today, despite whatever modifications and improvements may be claimed. Even though, as we all know, Babolat's BT7 insertion has caused its guts' playability, comfort and power laurels to slip some...

For reference now, BDE Performance was praised as a "sleeper" in the bunch, while Bow Brand Championship was, yes, generally praised and singled out for--of all things, if you ever played with the stuff--durability! In a more reasonable way, it was also somehow awarded a low rating for tension maintenance (generally associated with the earlier breakage I remember it for)...
 
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I know this is a goofy question, but I figured better to ask it here than to start a new thread.

How do you tell when natural gut is starting to wear out? I strung with Babolat tonic 17 4 months ago. I'm in grad school so I simply don't get to play a lot. The string probably has about 30 hours on it. Does it just start to get loose like multis do and the ball starts sailing?
 
I know this is a goofy question, but I figured better to ask it here than to start a new thread.

How do you tell when natural gut is starting to wear out? I strung with Babolat tonic 17 4 months ago. I'm in grad school so I simply don't get to play a lot. The string probably has about 30 hours on it. Does it just start to get loose like multis do and the ball starts sailing?
"Loose" as in it loses tension? Not with gut. Gut maintains tension and its playability until it breaks.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I know this is a goofy question, but I figured better to ask it here than to start a new thread.

How do you tell when natural gut is starting to wear out? I strung with Babolat tonic 17 4 months ago. I'm in grad school so I simply don't get to play a lot. The string probably has about 30 hours on it. Does it just start to get loose like multis do and the ball starts sailing?
There is an easy way to tell, it breaks! Gut plays great from cradle to grave.
 

struggle

Legend
There is an easy way to tell, it breaks! Gut plays great from cradle to grave.
as a new, first time gut use (what took me so long??!!)
i've had Klip Legend 17 strung for a month or more, playing ~ 2 times a week. Maybe 15 or so hours hours, not sure (indoor, mostly mixed 4.0 lately, gotta keep everyone happy....for a price).

Barely starting to fray and tension maintenance seems great (i haven't tracked it "scientifically"). I expect to play it til it breaks if i keep it dry, etc.

Just snagged a set of Pacific Classic 17 to compare (as I ordered the lady a new V-day tennis outfit........she'll love the set of gut in the package!!)
 
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