Playtest: Gamma Revelation 16
By Greg Raven
Gamma Revelation is a new multi-core, multi-wrap string formulated for players who want to use a multifilament string and are looking for the greater control that comes from a stiffer string.
Revelation is available in 16 and 17 gauge in natural only. It is priced at $12.95 per set of 40 feet, and $116.55 per reel of 360 feet. For more information or to order, contact Gamma at 800-333-0337, or visit Gamma on the web.
In the lab
We tested the 16-gauge Revelation. The coil measured 42 feet 8 inches. The diameter measured 1.31 mm prior to stringing, and 1.24 mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 72 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 × 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine.
After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 67 RDC units, representing a 7 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units immediately after stringing and 71 RDC units after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent tension loss. Revelation added 12.8 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.
The string was tested for five weeks by 37 USRSA playtesters with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.5. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 20.4.
At well over 42 feet, the coil felt just about long enough to do two midsize racquets. The string feels clean, and we did not get any kinking or twisting. The string is so smooth we had to concentrate to grab it while stringing the crosses. The outer coating seems a bit fragile, and the crosses pull through the mains like a polyurethane string. Revelation knots up nicely, and is easy to string overall, a characteristic noted by our playtesters.
No playtester broke the sample during stringing, reported problems tying knots, or experienced friction burn. Two reported problems with coil memory.
On the court
Gamma Revelation 16 generated above-average scores in every category across the board, including playability, durability, power, control, touch/feel, and spin, with even better scores for tension holding, comfort, and movement. With no low score in any category, this gives Gamma Revelation 16 a strong above-average overall score. Our playtesters liked the durability of Revelation 16 compared to their favorite string, and our lab test shows good tension retention. There’s a lot to like about this string, and with its durability, you have plenty of time to enjoy its characteristics.
Our playtester ratings indicate that this is an extremely well-balanced string with solid strengths and no weaknesses. Our playtest results indicate that Revelation 16 could very well be a good string for oversized and super-oversized racquets, especially considering the length of the coil and its slightly stiffer nature.
“This string provides plenty of power, control, and feel, all in one string. That’s surprising. It holds its tension a reasonable time, and there is very little movement in the mains. It was relatively easy to string and three wasn’t much coil memory. I’d recommend this string to my customers, especially all-court players. If priced right, this string will be a big seller.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Instinct strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 16)
“I generally like thinner strings, but this string played extremely well for a 16 gauge. This is a more powerful string than I’m used to. I guess lively would be a good way to describe it. The string lasted much longer than I thought it would. It frayed right from the first time out, but it actually played better as time went on. The pearlized coating reminds me almost of Gamma Live Wire. This frays differently, though. It plays better, too. I just ordered some Gammma Revelation to try. I’m hoping that it’s the same as the test sample. This string is a keeper. I’d make room in my inventory for it.” 4.5 male all court player using Dunlop 300G strung at 65 pounds CP (Kirschbaum Competition 1.20)
“I really liked this string. It played equal to my regular string, with adequate power and good control.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.2 strung at 58 pounds CP (Wilson NXT Tour 17)
“Great string! It felt good from the start. It seemed to take a little bit longer to break in, but after that I really enjoyed it. I would definitely use this string.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson H6 strung at 63 pounds LO (Babolat Conquest 16)
“After about five hours of break-in, the strings performed beautifully. Response was crisp throughout test period. Easy on the arm, great touch, and with minimal loss of tension. There was no trampolining or problems of control and yet adequate power. It held up terrificly for a soft string. Would very much recommend it.” 5.0 male all court player using Head i.x6 OS strung at 61 pounds LO (Tecnifibre NRG SPL 16)
“I am impressed with this string! It had an ample amount of power, and it resisted movement well. The tension held up right until it broke, but it never felt harsh. I wouldn’t hesitate to stock this string in my shop.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince Tour Diablo strung at 66 pounds CP (Gosen Polylon 17)
“From the first point, unbelievable power and control, which continued through the next two or three matches Easy stringing, normal tension loss, movement was minimal..” 5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Big Bang strung at 57 pounds CP (Head Ultra Tour 17)
“Good overall string.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson Tour 95 strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Ace 18)
“Very little coil memory. A very easy string to install. Plays nicely. Good control, power, and touch. Also, comfortable to play with. Even though it’s a heavier-gauge string than I normally use, I enjoyed playing with it.” 4.0 male all court player using Fischer Pro No. 1 strung at 64 pounds CP (Gamma XP 17)
“Very crisp feel; held tension quite well. Would like to play this string in a 16L or 17 gauge. I would carry this in my shop.” 5.0 male all court player using H Tour strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson Stamina Spin 16)
“Strings seem to hold tession really well. It feels like a soft string going in, but after playing with it the first time, the stringbed felt tighter, with more control and spin (but less power).” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Control strung at 58 pounds CP (Babolat Fine Play 17)
“It seemed to be a soft string, so I strung it up five percent tighter. It played well for the first two hours, then it seem to drop tension quickly. The next couple of hours it seemed to hold hension, but it was a lot lower than I like. Power, playability, comfort, and touch/feel were excellent, but because the stringbed was so lively it was difficult to control. I had very little string movement at first, but it became bad toward the end. This string would be great for someone looking for a more powerful string with good touch/feel.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 66 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)
“The most evident feature of this string is its power right out of the stringer. This power held throughout the playtest. This string is also very resistant to movement, which firmed up the stringbed, producing solid volleys. Its feel and playability are not as good as my usual string. Overall, a good string. I’d like to try it at a higher tension.” 4.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Pro Kennex Core 1 #6 strung at 57.5 pounds CP (Gamma TNT2 18)
“Good synthetic. I will string it slightly lower if I use it again. At this tension it is tough on the arm compared to my normal string. I am impressed with its spin generation and control. Significant notching, but it kept tension and did not break.” 5.0 male all court player using Bancroft Tour + strung at 59 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch 16L)
“This is a little notching, but no more than normal with other strings. I really enjoyed this string!” 3.5 male all court player using Yonex strung at 58 pounds CP (Kirschbaum 15)
“This string feels very nice. It has good power and is easy to string. The only thing that I wish it had was more bite on the ball, which I’m certain would come from a 17-gauge version.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 58 pounds CP (Tecnifibre E-Matrix 17)
“Easy to string. This string is comfortable to play with, and has nice control from the back court. It has more movement than I’m used to. I would recommend this string to anyone wanting comfort from their string.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head i.radical OS strung at 64 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)
“Good string. It lasts a long time. It generates more spin than other strings, and holds tension.” 5.5 male serve and volleyer using Prince More Game OS strung at 63 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic 16)
“I absolutely love this string. It bites the ball and is easy on the arm, too. Nice feel on topspin groundstrokes. I’d definitely use it, except maybe in a thicker gauge, as it broke earlier than expected.” 5.5 male all court player using Prince AirStick OS strung at 58 pounds LO (Prince Premier 16)
“I think this string is average. It was hard on my arm. Good string for durability, though. Could have a little more power.” 5.5 male serve and volleyer using Dunlop 300G strung at 64 pounds LO (Klip Lightning 16)
“A stiff-feeling string. There is some extra feel on long strokes (hitting through the ball), but anytime the ball is hit with an abbreviated stroke the feel is “board-like.” Spin potential is average but liveliness of the string is below average. No features to set it apart.” 4.5 male all court player using Head i.S2 strung at 56 pounds LO (Bow Brand gut/polyester hybrid 16/17)
“This is a solid string with no “pop.” I did not feel powerful with this string in my racquet. It lasted well, other than some notching after 4 hours, and showed no serious signs of wear after 17 hours of play. I was disappointed with the string’s inability to deliver spin. I am a flat hitter, but I occasionally need spin. I don’t think I got a single topspin lob in playing with this string, and it’s one of my best shots. A good string for stringbreakers.” 5.0 male all court player using Gosen Secret Carbon strung at 62 pounds LO (Gamma Live Wire XP 16)
“Not a bad string. However, it doesn’t seem to have any outstanding characteristics. It plays well, but no better than other stings. Solid, but not exciting. Notched quickly.” 6.5 male all court player using Wilson H Tour strung at 58 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 17)
“This string is comfortable and doesn’t move much, but the tension drops with each hour played. I would recommend this string to someone with arm trouble, but not to anyone looking for spin or durability.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince AirDrive MP strung at 57 pounds LO (Gosen Polylon 17)
“This is a middle-of-the-road string. It performs quite well in all test areas, but seems to lack something that would make me want to continue playing with it.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff Surge 5.1 strung at 58 pounds CP (Tecnifibre 515 Gold PS 17)
“Average playing string. It has good comfort and control, but seems a little lacking in the power department. It has started to fray, but there is almost no notching. I’m interested in finding out just how durable it is, as durability would compensate for the average play.” 4.5 male all court player using Prince More Power 1150 strung at 65 pounds CP (Prince Premier 16)
“A good-feeling string.” 6.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Radical OS strung at 65 pounds LO (Prince Pro Blend 65)
“When installing this string I felt it was very soft. In play, it has a real heavy feel and vibrates even with a dampener in it. Overall, I think this is an average string.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Prestige Mid strung at 58 pounds LO (Head Ultratour 17)
“A nice string (depending on the price), but not outstanding in any one area.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Radical OS strung at 63 pounds LO (Gamma Advantrex 15L)
“Although it seemed pliable, the string still wanted to kink up like gut. The outer layer of the sting was rather easily frayed by the clamps even without slipping, mostly on the main strings The fraying doesn’t seem to effect the durability in the short term, although I did see some peeling after about 15 hours of play Playability is average, it’s not too stiff, and reasonably comfortable. Just not very lively.” 4.0 male all court player using Pro Kennex Kinetic 7G strung at 59 pounds CP (Klip Excellerator 17)
“I don’t like it, and wouldn’t recommend it.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Triple Threat Bandit strung at 60 pounds CP (Gamma Synthetic 16)
(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)
| EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
|Number of testers who said it was:|
|about as easy||22|
|not quite as easy||2|
|not nearly as easy||0|
| OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often)
|Number of testers who said it was:|
|about as playable||11|
|not quite as playable||14|
|not nearly as playable||2|
| OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
|Number of testers who said it was:|
|about as durable||21|
|not quite as durable||3|
|not nearly as durable||1|
| RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
|Resistance to Movement||3.4|
See all articles by Greg Raven
About the Author
Greg Raven is an associate editor for RSI magazine and technical writer. He is certified as a Master Racquet Technician by the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com, or through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He plays tennis five days a week, and is turning into an avid cyclist.