Author Topic: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***  (Read 7220 times)

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Offline djinni9

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This is my first experience with natural gut; i went out and bought the best there is (concensus says). i shelled out $65 here in my country, to boot; but that is another matter.
I've had only 2 medium-length hitting sessions plus some time at the wall today, not much , I know. Break-in time should be taken into consideration but people unanymously claim that nat. gut plays amazing from the very first minute, so i'll oblige.
My expectation before buying this string was to finally try the ultimate string: i'm a very aggressive net player with many shots, strokes; and i've never broken a string. Logically natural gut was the best option for me.
I had only two worries when buying this string: it could break very soon (during practice sessions i do hit very hard) and since i had never used it before the tension might be wrong (conventional wisdom dictates higher tension with gut). Since it has been only one day, can't say anything about the former, but the tension, luckily, has turned out perfect.
It was strung at ~25-26 kg or ~56-57 lbs. on a Volkl C-10 Pro Tour (93 sq in, 357 grams (when strung w/gut), 61 flex, >8 pts. headlight)

The string has turned out to be a great disappointment; dare I say, a fiasco. what a waste of good money. Here is why (some comments are absolute while others are relative to other good strings):
-not much power, or not nearly as much as it's claimed to have
-hardly any spin
-not very good control
-not much consistency
-strings move a lot. A LOT
-$35
-little feedback on shots
only good things i can say about it are:
+highly comfortable, easy on the arm
+ummm, "hey i play with natural gut, I'm awesome!" factor  :)

I haven't really had a chance to test it at the net, ie. drop shots, drop volleys, stop volleys, smashes, reflex volleys, sliced volleys, drive volleys, punch volleys, half-volleys etc., so i'll give it the benefit of the doubt and assume:
+great touch/feel, mostly for drop volleys, stop volleys maybe, drop shots, half-volleys. i'll edit when i test it and if i change my mind.

To emphasize how disappointing this string was for me I'll compare it briefly to Gosen OG-Sheep Micro 16, which i used for quite a while (on my c-10 pro 98"). the Gosen was very underpowered...and that's about it on the plus side for VS Team. the gosen offered better control, even at the very low tension it had. it felt just as comfortable; the touch/feel at the net was simply outstanding, tension stability was great, strings moved very little, spin was similar or just a tad more. oh, and..it costs $3.50!!!! So, I don't see the point of paying $30 extra just to have more power.  Babolat owes $10 to each cow (it takes 3 for a set of strings).

To compare it to the previous string on the same racquet, the $13.50 Technifibre X-One Biphase 17, so as to make a 'fairer' comparison:
The X-One has unbelievable power; if nat gut can't beat it, i doubt there is another string that can.
The control, even on my hardest hit shots, is magnificent. Shot after shot, great consistency, reliability. Just can't seem to hit the ball out any longer than a few inches, occasionally a foot. The feedback is great, you know immediately how well you hit and where it will go. It's durable enough, tension maintenance is pretty good considering the power level. On the downside, it's not very comfortable (for my standard, anyway); not obviously uncomfortable or anything, but a tough, stiff playing string. Unsurprisingly, net play qualities are not very good. can't seem to feel the ball; there seems to be no pocketing effect whatsoever. soft, touch shots are very inconsistent and difficult to pull off (again, for me; relatively speaking). However, the X-One was strung abnormally high (i put it aside for 4 months because it was unplayable, eventually it lost some tension over time, become just barely playable, then i got used to it played with it for about 1.5 months; the touch at the net was definitely better near the end but still not sufficient for me); so at a lower tension, the feel and comfort of the string would improve. It costs just over 1/3 as much as VS Team gut. If you're a 'modern'  ;-() player, one who is mostly at the baseline hitting big, only occasionally going to the net, there is absolutely no reason to install this over-hyped Babolat VS string (can't speak for every nat gut there is, but since this one is the benchmark...well); not even as a hybrid; put x-one on the mains and, say, the aforementioned Gosen on the crosses,and you'll have good durability, good comfort, very good touch, costing roughly a total 6.75 + 1.50 = $8.25. Much better overall performance at a quarter the cost of VS Team.
 
I'll end my review by saying, i do not exaggerate; i tell it like it is; i analyze as best as i can; i leave emotions or complexes out of it. i know what i'm talking about, i'm not a beginner or even an intermediate player. i can play every shot and execute it really well. my expectations are, then, extremely high. VS Team (and probably most other guts) was a big let down. I wanted to love the string, i expected to; otherwise i wouldn't have forked over $65 here. It is NOT a terrible string, not even BAD. it's all relative. to what i have used before, this string adds very little, and takes away a lot. it costs almost 3 times as much. and to think, these days most serious players are aggressive baseliners, prone to breaking strings and requiring little feel/touch (which is crucial for net play only); why on earth would they buy this gut and praise it so highly!?!

My verdict: Way over-hyped, way over-rated. Hmmmm....Babolat Pro Hurricane (and Tour version), Babolat racquets....I seem to see a pattern here!! As for other guts on the market, my gut tells me that the result for me will be the same. Go high-end synthetics; especially multi's!! Technifibre, you're my hero!!  :)~
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 04:11:01 PM by djinni9 »

Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 06:30:19 PM »
Nice review.
I'm as surprised as you are at the result.
I've only played with low priced gut a few times and I did notice more comfort and touch.  I don't recall much of a power boost, but that was over 15 years ago.
Should be interesting to hear what some of the other players & stringers here have to say. :)

One question for you-
You mention never breaking a string.  Roughly how many playing hours do you get out of the Technifibre before you cut it out?
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Offline dmastous

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 06:31:25 PM »
To expect more power from gut than the high end synthetics was to expect too much, I think. The difference is going to be in softness (easy on the arm, which you've already mentioned), and tension retention. Gut is going to perform the same pretty close to the same from the day you install it, till the day it breaks. Synthetics loose tension over time, whether you use them or not.
Also, Babblelot may be the most expensive string on the market, but to me it's not the best. I think Bow Brand is head and shoulders over Babblelot or Wilson when it comes to responsiveness. You really feel the springiness in Bow Brand. Babblelot is the most expensive because it's the most popular string on tour (outside of Luxilon now). That doesn't mean it's the best, it's just used by more pros. They get it for free, so what do they care.
If you expected gut to give you more spin, or were told that, you were misinformed. Gut by itself will not help you get more spin. When combined with a dead string like Luxilon or Kevlar you will get more spin, but not with a full set of gut.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 06:31:59 PM by dmastous »

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Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2008, 07:26:36 PM »
To expect more power from gut than the high end synthetics was to expect too much, I think. The difference is going to be in softness (easy on the arm, which you've already mentioned), and tension retention. Gut is going to perform the same pretty close to the same from the day you install it, till the day it breaks. Synthetics loose tension over time, whether you use them or not.
Also, Babblelot may be the most expensive string on the market, but to me it's not the best. I think Bow Brand is head and shoulders over Babblelot or Wilson when it comes to responsiveness. You really feel the springiness in Bow Brand. Babblelot is the most expensive because it's the most popular string on tour (outside of Luxilon now). That doesn't mean it's the best, it's just used by more pros. They get it for free, so what do they care.
If you expected gut to give you more spin, or were told that, you were misinformed. Gut by itself will not help you get more spin. When combined with a dead string like Luxilon or Kevlar you will get more spin, but not with a full set of gut.
:worthy:
Nicely done.
I didn't know about the tension retention.  That's great!
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Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2008, 07:12:23 AM »

One question for you-
You mention never breaking a string.  Roughly how many playing hours do you get out of the Technifibre before you cut it out?

i played serious, frequent tennis with the x-one for 1.5 months.i play about 6 times a week on average, at least 2 maybe 3.5-4 hours. only during the last week of use or so the strings began to move around; it had a more deadened feel; it was still 'playable', performing well, but i could sense that it was time to change, being very eager to finally try gut.
of course there are much bigger hitters, using a lot of topspin. they probably will break them. i have never broken a string and i use them for much longer than most people.

Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2008, 07:19:56 AM »

One question for you-
You mention never breaking a string.  Roughly how many playing hours do you get out of the Technifibre before you cut it out?

i played serious, frequent tennis with the x-one for 1.5 months.i play about 6 times a week on average, at least 2 maybe 3.5-4 hours. only during the last week of use or so the strings began to move around; it had a more deadened feel; it was still 'playable', performing well, but i could sense that it was time to change, being very eager to finally try gut.
of course there are much bigger hitters, using a lot of topspin. they probably will break them. i have never broken a string and i use them for much longer than most people.
That's amazing.  Sounds like you are getting between 75-100 hours out of each set!
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Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2008, 07:29:38 AM »
To expect more power from gut than the high end synthetics was to expect too much, I think. The difference is going to be in softness (easy on the arm, which you've already mentioned), and tension retention. Gut is going to perform the same pretty close to the same from the day you install it, till the day it breaks. Synthetics loose tension over time, whether you use them or not.
Also, Babblelot may be the most expensive string on the market, but to me it's not the best. I think Bow Brand is head and shoulders over Babblelot or Wilson when it comes to responsiveness. You really feel the springiness in Bow Brand. Babblelot is the most expensive because it's the most popular string on tour (outside of Luxilon now). That doesn't mean it's the best, it's just used by more pros. They get it for free, so what do they care.
If you expected gut to give you more spin, or were told that, you were misinformed. Gut by itself will not help you get more spin. When combined with a dead string like Luxilon or Kevlar you will get more spin, but not with a full set of gut.

thanks for the comments.
i wasn't expecting more power, just about the same as what i get on the x-one, or even the nrg2 (my fave string overall i have to say!!)
tension and layability retension was a factor in buying gut. i thought since i'm not prone to breaking strings, i could use a gut for a long time, save on string jobs, labor, thereby being economical as well.
i guess i was misinformed regarding spin. but then most tennis websites, online stores do claim "best power, control, spin" for gut. i don't use extreme spin; moderate to slightly more, i'd say, so gut should have sufficed; i was let down here as well
i'm glad for your Bow Brand tip. actually, before buying Babolat, or even years before when i first began researching shortlisting strings, i knew that you could always find cheaper obscure brands that are just as good, if not better. i knew that so many brands, models in any industry are over-hyped; i never buy something because others claim it's good or because it's popular. i'm quite wary of such things actually. next time i might try bow or some other gut that's reasonably priced. in fact, if my store had it i would have installed vs tonic. from what i read they're the same quality as vs team but with greater gauge tolerance and cosmetic blemishes. what difference could that make for me. $10 extra nothing more.
i'd like to hear more comments about gut strings. i particularly would like to hear that my review of vs team is close to reality and that x or y string would please me more. i don't want to abandon gut for good.

Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2008, 07:48:23 AM »

[/quote]That's amazing.  Sounds like you are getting between 75-100 hours out of each set!
[/quote]

look. i don't want to make false claims or mislead anyone. i'm a recreational player. some days (thankfully, rarely!) i end up playing only slow mixed doubles, imagine my string consumption there!! sometimes its a good men's double that's fast, requiring harder hit shots, more spin, harder overheads, bigger serves etc. occasionally, every 2 days or so at most, i have an intense hitting session in addition to match play. there i really hit big; at least for my level; though i can hit as hard or almost as hard as the the teachers at our club (just yesterday in fact we had a 30 minute session, it grew really intense, but gradually. i can easily say i 'owned' him more than enough and i had so much better control and consistency, only 2 or so mis**ts as opposed to his 8 or 9. so, he was really pushing as well. and to boot, i wasn't using my x-one, but this s**tty vs team!!). so, i can't average and quantify these easily. if it were only 1.5-2 hour hittings sessions every day, 6 times a week, my string consumption would be totally different. i doubt the x-one or most other syn's would last more than 2 weeks. playability and tension would be gone.

Offline dmastous

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2008, 08:55:51 AM »
With doubles, mixed or otherwise, being mostly about serves, returns and volleys, it's not surprising you don't break strings often. When I played as often as you are talking about (back in the 80's and early 90's) I broke strings every other week. But I do hit with power and spin. I was using Prince Synthetic at the time, and then Leona 66. I play mostly doubles now, and almost never break a string.
I wasn't impressed with either Wilson or Babblelot gut. But that doesn't mean it's a bad string, it just wasn't that great to me. Bow Brand was/is more impressive. Pacific is even less expensive than Bow Brand.
I would say if you like the X-1 Bi-phase stick with it. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

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Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2008, 09:01:43 AM »

That's amazing.  Sounds like you are getting between 75-100 hours out of each set!
[/quote]

look. i don't want to make false claims or mislead anyone. i'm a recreational player. some days (thankfully, rarely!) i end up playing only slow mixed doubles, imagine my string consumption there!! sometimes its a good men's double that's fast, requiring harder hit shots, more spin, harder overheads, bigger serves etc. occasionally, every 2 days or so at most, i have an intense hitting session in addition to match play. there i really hit big; at least for my level; though i can hit as hard or almost as hard as the the teachers at our club (just yesterday in fact we had a 30 minute session, it grew really intense, but gradually. i can easily say i 'owned' him more than enough and i had so much better control and consistency, only 2 or so mis**ts as opposed to his 8 or 9. so, he was really pushing as well. and to boot, i wasn't using my x-one, but this s**tty vs team!!). so, i can't average and quantify these easily. if it were only 1.5-2 hour hittings sessions every day, 6 times a week, my string consumption would be totally different. i doubt the x-one or most other syn's would last more than 2 weeks. playability and tension would be gone.
[/quote]I hear ya.
The level and style of play are certainly factors in string longevity.
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Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2008, 09:42:05 AM »
With doubles, mixed or otherwise, being mostly about serves, returns and volleys, it's not surprising you don't break strings often. When I played as often as you are talking about (back in the 80's and early 90's) I broke strings every other week. But I do hit with power and spin. I was using Prince Synthetic at the time, and then Leona 66. I play mostly doubles now, and almost never break a string.
I wasn't impressed with either Wilson or Babblelot gut. But that doesn't mean it's a bad string, it just wasn't that great to me. Bow Brand was/is more impressive. Pacific is even less expensive than Bow Brand.
I would say if you like the X-1 Bi-phase stick with it. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

you're tempting me to order bow brand now!! i hope i can try it in a few months. i heard that pacific's tough gut 16 is a pretty good string. it's cheaper but was it pretty similar to bow?
i loved the power and control the x-one offered. if i was a strict baseliner, i'd go with it, depite the lower comfort. my style is different, i MUST have outstanding touch/feel; if the string is also very powerful, heck i'll take it. the x-one fails in the touch department. nrg2 is great overall, but not outstanding at any one thing. no wonder many claim that it's "the nearest thing to natural gut". taking into account price, nrg2 is doubtless better than babolat vs team. $12 vs $35. SLIGHTLY less feel, touch, comfort. similar power, BETTER control. Much better spin. tension maintainance has been truly good, IMO, but i know it won't parallel natural gut. i've used the 17 and 18. if you know of similar synthetics (multi) to nrg2 but slightly better please inform me!

Offline dmastous

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2008, 10:10:36 AM »
With doubles, mixed or otherwise, being mostly about serves, returns and volleys, it's not surprising you don't break strings often. When I played as often as you are talking about (back in the 80's and early 90's) I broke strings every other week. But I do hit with power and spin. I was using Prince Synthetic at the time, and then Leona 66. I play mostly doubles now, and almost never break a string.
I wasn't impressed with either Wilson or Babblelot gut. But that doesn't mean it's a bad string, it just wasn't that great to me. Bow Brand was/is more impressive. Pacific is even less expensive than Bow Brand.
I would say if you like the X-1 Bi-phase stick with it. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

you're tempting me to order bow brand now!! i hope i can try it in a few months. i heard that pacific's tough gut 16 is a pretty good string. it's cheaper but was it pretty similar to bow?
i loved the power and control the x-one offered. if i was a strict baseliner, i'd go with it, depite the lower comfort. my style is different, i MUST have outstanding touch/feel; if the string is also very powerful, heck i'll take it. the x-one fails in the touch department. nrg2 is great overall, but not outstanding at any one thing. no wonder many claim that it's "the nearest thing to natural gut". taking into account price, nrg2 is doubtless better than babolat vs team. $12 vs $35. SLIGHTLY less feel, touch, comfort. similar power, BETTER control. Much better spin. tension maintainance has been truly good, IMO, but i know it won't parallel natural gut. i've used the 17 and 18. if you know of similar synthetics (multi) to nrg2 but slightly better please inform me!

I'd say Pacific is closer to Babblelot in feel than Bow Brand. Nothing I've played with feels quite like Bow Brand.
I haven't tried too many of the high end multifibres. There are a couple that impressed me at first, but dissappointed in the end. Wilson's Sensation, and Prince's Synthetic Multifibre. I playtested the Prince and loved it, gave it a great review. Then, when I found out what it was, I bought some, and it just didn't feel the same. But those aren't the same kinds of mulitfibres that X-1 Bi Phase and Nrg2 are. They don't have the wrapped look that those strings have.

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Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2008, 06:11:43 PM »
I feel the need to revise my review. i'm not editing so those curious about this gut can have some idea about how it performs over time.
Last time (which was my very first time) i played for about 15-20 + 30-35 minutes. not even for more than an hour.
Today i played 75 mins + 75 mins. one hitting session followed by a set and a half of singles and then a doubles match.

I'm a little confused now. The string is indeed very powerful. i never even tried my best (it'll become apparent why in a moment) and the power was very impressive. and power corrupts, as lord acton wisely said. it becomes addictive; even though it can be self-destructive, you just don't want to give it up.
The problem is that this isn't a very useful kind of power. the control in this string is awful compared to all other strings i've used on my racquets recently. the techni 515, techni promix, the gosen og-sheep, the techni nrg2 and lastly the x-one biphase. even when i was trying NOT to hit hard, the ball would float up, float wide. sometimes i hit great, perfectly placed shots. luck, i say! ;-(). sometimes they were okay. but most of the time i felt utter lack of control which for me is immediately followed by a lack of confidence.

honestly, i can't say which is more powerful. X-One or VS Team. At first (today/Day 2) i thought this string was close to X-One. Then i thought it was even more than X-One. It's hard to assess when the control level is this different. I was perfectly happy with the power of the x-one especially when it came alongside immaculate control. the VS Team doesn't have anything close to it. my shots are unreliable, inconsistent, therefore i am afraid to hit any shot (on groundstrokes), let alone hit big. this will be a big step back for my baseline groundstroke game. i had just overcame my inhibitions after switching to the x-one.

(A Note on tension: the gut is strung at about 26 kg or 57 lbs (from now on 1 kg = 2.2 lbs , so get out your calculators!  :)) ). I say about because even though the Babolat Sensor machine is being set at some tension, the strings come out at least 2.5-3 kg's more. This has happened on 3 previous stringjobs on 2 different racquets. On other 2 racquets strung around the same AND different period(s), the tension seems about right. What the heck is going on??  The last string job was overstrung. Therefore, being smart, i told them to string the VS at 23 kg. this way it would be at least 25-25.5, no more than 26-26.5. since i haven't used or heel-felt a gut job before, i can't guess the exact tension. it's not low, at least not by the heel method. 26 seems about right. the hitting sensation, however, is comparable to NRG2 (or some other decent synthetic) strung at 22-22.5-23, no more. according to my evaluation then, gut = synth. + 3-4 kg. can anyone verify? The low tension, then- if it is indeed low- could be contributing to both lack of control and amount of spin. i don't want to give up the spin. but this control won't do. no way. if i string tighter next time, i doubt it'll become uncomfortable. how will it affect durability? think string movement versus tension. doesn't higher tension mean easier breakage, even though it may not come from excessive string movement? for me it's all theory. so i need real, practical help. i think the string can take at least 1 kg more, 1.5 tops. I know it's too much to ask but is there anything i can do to stiffen up the string bed, on this stringjob!? how about superglue? steel reinforcements? ) 

I and a follow-up poster was wrong about the spin as well. i have no idea how it happened. was it the protective coating, wax or whatever that wore off? In one day?!! This string also has tremendous spin. In fact, if I hadn't become inhibited again today, so as not to overhit or apply a lot of power to my stroke, i could have produced even more spin. this inhibition is more evident in my topspin shots. the slices, however, were amazing. 'how low can you go!' So effortless, it's kind of scary! I know that the slice potential is even greater than what i have seen because i have a problem around my elbow that prevents me from knifing it that hard. (yes i know, you don't just straighten the elbow to slice but make a fluid forward stroke with the whole arm, but it hurts a bit nevertheless and limits my stroke) Dropshots have been some of the best i've ever hit, maybe the best, period, considering i haven't been using them as much as i used to, and i'm kind of rusty.

Next is not a revision but a verification. If you recall, i assumed initially that touch/feel around the net should be great. i played some back-hand half-volley drop shots, short/low balls today in my singles match - sometimes when defending against groundstroke drives, even when on the run. WOW!!! These are particularly difficult shots to make, and to make consistently. even for top level pros i think. i know i have the talent anyway, but this string puts it into overdrive. and i'm only getting to know this string; my second day, i haven't mastered it yet.
Can't comment much on volleys. played some. brilliant ones, great ones, decent ones, a few duds. but not enough to make an evaluation. power seems lower on the volleys compared to the groundstrokes.but i don't mean in an absolute sense, they aren't overpowered, that's all. spin helped a lot, by helping me keep them low.   

String movement is atrocious. remember, i'm especially avoiding hitting big. i find myself straightening strings DURING a rally. (i'm not exaggerating, although i do have obsessive-compulsive, and might be making too much of a big deal regarding string movement). it wasn't a tournament match or anything, just a practice match. but i know i did it at least once or twice. and it's not a single string or two side-by-side that are moving. the whole string bed is migrating this way or that. i know winter is starting here...but  ..-)

Right now, regarding the future, at least, a hybrid job seems certain, since i don't think a kilo or so of added tension can compensate for lack of control. what the other string will be is too early to determine, i think. it has to be a very, very, very, very control oriented string. it has to have great tension retention so as to not go dead way before the gut. It must not only move very little on it's own but also prevent the gut from sliding around.

hmmmm...
I seem to be re-inventing the wheel here. This is exactly what pro's do, anyway...heh. but i don't want to emulate anyone in any way. i want to discover on my own, and find what's best for me. right now i know that i deserve to play with gut because i have the game that requires it. especially if i want to take it to another level. i know that the control/power ratio is lopsided. the x-one on the other hand was very even in this respect. the nrg2 is more control oriented i think, but has touch, comfort in place of the extra power the x-one boasts. none of these strings is the Holy Grail. a hybrid job will be more useful, and cost less. 17.5 + 1.75 = $19.25 roughly, if i use gosen og-sheep. this would not only minimize cost but tame the power level of the gut, add control. tension retension would be perfect, touch feel would still be amazing. the gamma pro cost about the same. i'd appreciate some other options for a hybrid job. tried and tested strings that offer top-notch control, please.

I hope my review helps those curious about gut and how it would affect their game. it's too early to tell if it was a good investment money-wise. depends on if and when it'll break. 

Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2008, 07:45:54 AM »
Your review is both interesting and confusing (maybe that's why it's interesting to me?).

I'm not sure how or why there would be such a drastic change in your perception of the string in just 2 outings.
Could there have been a drop in tension during that time?

I like to check the relative tension of my strings occasionally, more out of curiosity than anything else.
Although it's not a measurement of actual tension, it does give a reference point for tension loss.

It will be interesting to hear what our resident string expert has to say!

More info on your playing level and style might be helpful.
Thanks for the review, for me it's always interesting to read about different experiences with equipment! :)
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Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2008, 08:19:32 AM »
Your review is both interesting and confusing (maybe that's why it's interesting to me?).

I'm not sure how or why there would be such a drastic change in your perception of the string in just 2 outings.
Could there have been a drop in tension during that time?

I like to check the relative tension of my strings occasionally, more out of curiosity than anything else.
Although it's not a measurement of actual tension, it does give a reference point for tension loss.

It will be interesting to hear what our resident string expert has to say!

More info on your playing level and style might be helpful.
Thanks for the review, for me it's always interesting to read about different experiences with equipment! :)

a drop in tension is out of the question, especially for gut, i think. i know strings have a break-in period, but gut is claimed to play 100% from the start. still, this might have something to do with it.
if the protective coat wore off after the first outing, this explains the spin.
the control is not worse than the first outing. it would have been if there was a tension loss.
the power seems to have increased because maybe i got a little more used to the string. in the first outing, the ball wasn't taking much spin so i was taking care not to apply much force; to avoid floaters that go way long. now it's taking topspin really well, so i was able to hit harder (though no where near 100%, yikes) and keep them in, deep and strong. this explains my drastic change in perception, without a tension loss.
i sense that (though i can end up wrong again) the string is going to continue to play like this. overpowered, lacking control and consistency. way too much string movement. i don't see any way that these aspects will improve on their own, as no string can experience a tension increase. sure, i can adapt my shots to manage the control, but why would any player want to do this. i wouldn't have had to if the string had the control of the multi synthetics i used.
one thing i want to know is what tensions pro's or players like us use on a full gut stringjob. preferably on a comparable racquet. i'm free from tennis today so i can do some research on the net. but i'd really like some input.

Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 09:13:41 AM »
Link #1 for your pleasure! :))

http://www.grandslamstringers.com/Sinfo6.php

Am searching now for a page I saw a few years ago listing pros, their strings, and tensions...
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2008, 09:16:41 AM »
Here is a very informative article about poly strings. :))

  http://www.expert-tennis-tips.com/luxilon-tennis-strings.html
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Offline djinni9

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Re: A controversial string review: Babolat VS Team 17 - *** MAJOR UPDATE ***
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 01:01:28 PM »
although it's far from conclusive or anything i came about this on the tw forums:
French Open 2005 racquet specs (i chose those that used a full gut job with VS strings)

Wessels 16 gauge, 359 gram strung weight, tension 26/26 kg
K.Beck 16 356 28/27
Rusedski 16 370 24.5/24.5
K.Carlsen 16 362 32/31 (seems a LOT)
Shalken 16 380 27/27
Clement 16 332 24/24
Mine (not at the FO 2005, though  :))) 17 357-8 probably 25-26

racquet head is just as, if not more, important as weight. i don't know what these guys use/used but mine is 93

and monsterstruck: you had asked me in another thread about racquet weight on volleys. this is a comment someone made at the thread from which i picked up the above specs:

"BRIAN MIKE 4 354 29.7 69.8 TECNIFIBRE NRG 2 1.24 23/24

BRIAN BOB 5 354 29.8 69.8 LUX / TF ALU POWER / NRG 2 1.25/1.24 24/25

WOODBRIDGE TODD 3 353 30.7 69.8 WILSON NATURAL 1.25 24/24

NESTOR DAVID 5 375 29.5 69.3 BAB / LUX VS Team thermogut/alu powerBB 1.25 26/26

all doubles specialists, all heavy, head-light racquets...."

note, those are unstrung weights. i added 20 g for natural gut for the ones i chose (synths on average are said to be around 13-15 grams, gut is heavier, density i guess)