Tennis Industry magazine

 

Playtest: Klip Screamer 17

By Greg Raven

Klip Screamer is one of Klip’s “Pro Doubles” (hybrid) strings, this one combining natural gut with Klip Scorcher (see the playtest report for Klip Scorcher in the September 2003 issue of Racquet Tech).

Klip Screamer 16

Klip Scorcher is a solid-core multiwrap string designed to bridge the gap between monofilament and multifilament strings. According to Klip, Scorcher’s copolymer monofilament nylon core gives it a crisper feel than the typical multifilament, while the two high-tensile fiber wraps give it livelier playability than nylon monofilaments. The outer layer is a pearlized coating of titanium oxide. According to Klip, combining natural gut with its titanium double-wrap nylon results in a durable yet very playable hybrid.

With Screamer, Klip is targeting players looking for the feel and playability of natural gut at a fraction of the price, along with crisper power. The Scorcher nylon helps increase ball control by reducing ball speed.

Screamer is available in 16 and 17 gauges in natural/white only. It is priced from $18 for sets with 21 feet of natural gut and 22 feet of Scorcher (nylon). For more information or to order, contact Klip at 866-554-7872, or visit klipstrings.com.

In the lab

We tested the 17-gauge Screamer “both ways” — that is, with the gut in the mains and Scorcher nylon in the crosses, and with the Scorcher nylon in the mains and the gut in the crosses. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of each string combination immediately after installation at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 × 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine, and then retested after 24 hours (no playing).

Measurements Natural gut Scorcher nylon
Coil length 20’2.5” 25’
Diameter unstrung 1.26 mm 1.26 mm
Diameter strung 1.18 mm 1.19 mm

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. See the table for our measurements of the 17-gauge Klip Screamer we playtested. Screamer added 13.95 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 78 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.0 (39 testers in each of two groups). These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. We instructed one team to install the gut in the mains, and the other to install the Scorcher nylon in the mains.

We found that Klip Screamer is nice to string, even though the gut is a bit rough, and the Scorcher nylon is a bit stretchy. The gut also feels dry to the touch, but strings up just fine. However, several of our playtesters reported flaking or peeling of the gut when pulling the crosses (with the Scorcher nylon in the mains).

On the court

Klip Screamer natural gut

The ratings our playtesters gave Klip Screamer are a study in superlatives. Klip Screamer 17, with gut in the mains and Scorcher in the crosses, comes in first overall of the 90 strings we have playtested to date, dethroning none other than Klip’s “Pro Double” (gut mains/poly crosses hybrid) X-Plosive (November 2004 RSI magazine). In achieving this score, it placed first in Touch/Feel and first in Spin Potential (a category in which our playtesters are usually stingy in their praise). It also placed second in Power, second in Control, and second in Comfort. To round things out, it also placed third in Playability, well above average in Holding Tension, and above average in Durability and Resistance to Movement.

Klip Screamer 17 also placed well with Scorcher in the mains and gut in the crosses, coming in third of the 90 strings we’ve playtested to date in Comfort, fifth in Playability, sixth in Power, and sixth in Touch/Feel. It also placed well above average in Control, Spin Potential, and Holding Tension, and above average in Resistance to Movement. These scores are good enough for an overall score well above average.

Conclusion

Klip Screamer Scorcher nylon

Conventional wisdom dictates that with a gut hybrid, you put the nylon, poly, or aramid in the mains for durability, and the gut in the crosses for feel. This playtest shows why it can be good to experiment. Klip Screamer 17 with gut in the mains really impressed our playtesters, even more than our previous test of Klip X-Plosive.

The common factor among these four tests is, aside from the manufacturer, the use of natural gut, which hints at why so many players recognize natural gut as the best string. With Klip Screamer, our playtesters found they got the on-court performance they are seeking, with better durability. And, as Klip points out, this performance comes at a lower cost than using gut alone, not only in the initial purchase price, but also in the additional longevity. Amazingly, fewer playtesters broke the gut mains compared to the nylon mains.

Gut mains/nylon crosses Nylon mains/gut crosses
Average playtest duration 19.57 hours 17 hours
Broke during play 11 19
Break hours 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10,
11, 16, 18, 25, 26
1, 1.5, 2, 4.5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 8,
10, 11, 11, 11, 16, 18, 22, 34, 48
RDC stringbed stiffness new 75 72
RDC stringbed stiffness after 24 hours 71 68
Tension loss 4 RDC 4 RDC
Tension loss % 5.33% 5.56%
Broke during stringing 3 0
Excess coil memory 4 5
Difficulty tying knots 2 1
Friction burn 4 7

Comments (gut mains)

“Excellent string, with above-average characteristics in each category. I will switch to this string once I find out what it is.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson Tour 95 strung at 62 pounds CP (Wilson Tour 17)

“The gut coil was just barely long enough to make it to the tension head on the outside mains. I could have used another 12 inches. Having gut mains really gives this string plenty of feel, and comfort. There is plenty of power without giving up any control. It may sound too good to be true, but this hybrid has it all. Mains resisted movement and there was very little loss in tension during the time I tested it. I recommend this string to all level of players.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Instinct strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 16)

“A real nice-playing string! I would recommend this to my customers.” 5.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal Radical strung at 65 pounds LO (Head Intellitour 16 / Prince Pro Blend 16)

“Beautiful strings. They broke in very quickly. Response was crisp throughout test period. Easy on the arm, great touch, and minimal loss of tension, even though I did not pre-stretch. There is no problem with control and yet adequate power. It is holding up terrifically for a soft string. No notching: only indentations. I would very much recommend it.” 5.0 male all court player using Head i.X6 OS strung at 61 pounds LO (Tecnifibre NRG 16)

“An excellent string. I would use it again. It has excellent feel, and is very comfortable. I would be a good choice for anyone with wrist or elbow injuries. I did hat a bit more difficulty generating spin compared to my normal string. Surprisingly, the strings did not move much even at low tension, or at least they returned to the normal position without requiring straightening.” 4.0 male all court player using Yonex RDX 500 MP strung at 54 pounds CP (Head Fibergel 16)

“This is an awesome string. I noticed very little fraying for natural gut, and it is very easy to string. I feel that I can control the ball very well coming off the racquet. It gives me a lot of confidence in hitting all my shots, from the backcourt all the way into my volleys. The string also held tension very well after 20 hours of use. I would consider switching to this string.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One Tour 90 strung at 58 pounds CP (Klip Scorcher 17)

“This is the best string I have tested in a long time. The combined power, control, and delicate touch make this string a must-have for all-court and doubles players. An absolute pleasure to play with, and very easy on the arm when teaching. What is there not to like with this string? I have enjoyed this string so much that I intend to play on with it until it’s worn out. Please make sure you let me know what this string is because I would like to add it to my inventory.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff Surge 5.1 strung at 58 pounds CP (Tecnifibre 515 Gold 17)

“This is a great string. It feels easy on my arm, as the comfort is excellent. I would consider using this string on a regular basis. In match play, I feel the control is outstanding. It’s a confidence-builder knowing my shots are going where I intend to place them.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal Radical MP strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)

“The gut is easy to work with, compared to other guts I have used. Powerful string with good playability. Soft, with good touch. Really enjoyed playing with this hybrid. Tension held up well, right up until it broke.” 4.0 male all court player using Fischer Pro No. One strung at 64 pounds CP (Gamma XP 17)

“I love this string! It felt great and really was comfortable, too. However, the gut mains frayed and frayed, and the stringbed seemed to lose tension after about 10 hours of play. I would definitely recommend it for high-level players. For a gut/nylon blend, it lasted a long time.” 5.5 male all court player using Prince AirStick strung at 56 pounds LO (Prince Premier 17)

“Right out of the gate, this string was amazing. I had everything I wanted: Power, comfort, and spin. I played match after match and the string’s performance was consistant. Then, at hour 11, it was as if someone flicked a switch and dropped my tension five pounds. It felt this way for the next seven court hours until in broke. I love this string, however. I can’tc wait to find out what string this is.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince Tour Diablo strung at 66 pounds CP (Unique Tourna Poly 18)

“Very good string for comfort and feel. String lost some tension after ten hours of teaching. I would use this string. The string started fraying toward the end of the test period, but overall a very good string.” 3.5 male all court player using Dunlop 300G strung at 63 pounds LO (Klip X-Plosive 16)

“Even though this string is too lively for me, I think it is a good combination, and I would probably carry it in my string line-up.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 58 pounds CP (Tecnifibre E-Matrix 17)

“This string feels very soft. There is little or no shock to my shoulder or elbow, which is very welcome because I’d had arms problems in the past. I needed to swing a little harder to get the power, but I still maintained good control. I have never played with a string that has this kind of resistance to movement.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal 8 strung at 60/58 pounds CP (Gamma Live Wire 16)

“I enjoyed playing with this string.” 4.0 male serve and volleyer using Volkl C10 Pro Tour strung at 65 pounds LO (Forten )

“Good string!” 4.5 male all court player using Fischer Pro Extreme FT Carbon strung at 62 pounds CP (Babolat VS gut 17)

“Interesting hybrid, with the gut in the mains, but I liked it. The mains did start fraying after two sets, but I expect that from gut.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 57 pounds CP (Wilsion Reaction 17)

“I would have liked to try the gut in the crosses, but even so, I really like the balance of power and control. I’m switching to gut!” 3.5 male touch player using Head i.S9 OS strung at 61 pounds CP (Kirschbaum 15L/16)

“This is a very comfortable string. It offers great control when freshly strung, but the control lessens over time. Great touch and feel for an all-court player: exceptional at net. The natural gut and nylon are a good combination.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince AirDrive MP strung at 57 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 16)

“This string has such a good feel. The ball explodes off the strings. I hat with my other racquet, then switched to the racquet with the test string. I love the way the ball feels.” 5.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince Outlaw strung at 60 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic 16)

“Great string if you’re looking for power and playability. Durability was, as I expected, not very good. The gut seemed to fray pretty quickly. Depending on cost, it might be a good choice for a lot of players.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 67 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 16)

“Average string. Would not purchase it myself.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Triple Threat Bandit strung at 60 pounds LO (Gamma Synthetic 16)

“The test sample is stiffer than my regular string, and more difficult to install. The first two hours I played with it, it had no feel but good control. After that, it played much better, but nothing special in terms of feel, playability, or comfort. Power was good throughout the test period. Probably a nice set-up for those interested in power and minimal string movement, who aren’t looking for touch/feel. The string had little wear after 18 hours of play.” 4.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Pro Kennex Core 1 #6 strung at 60.5 pounds CP (Gamma TNT 18)

“I haven’t played with gut in awhile, so I had forgotten the power. If I had to restring again for myself, I would go up in tension 3 or 4 kilograms. I enjoy playing with this string. Balls are keep deep easily, however when I go for a little more, it is hard to control. By the eighth hour, the strings were shifting all over. Normally I would remove the string seeing this much wear. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend it to a string breaker, but it would be a nice setup for those with a tender elbow, or for those who are looking for an alternative to the high-end synthetics. Playability and comfort are king with this setup.” 4.5 male all court player using Tecnifibre T-Feel 305 strung at 60.6 pounds CP (Kirschbaum Competition 1.20)

“I thought the gut string handled quite nicely during stringing: minimal coil memory and minimal kinking. Playability was average, and may have suffered some because it appears that the gut did not hold tension too well (based on my Stringmeter readings).” 4.0 male all court player using Pro Kennex 7g strung at 59 pounds CP (Klip Excellerator 17)

“A good feeling hybrid. However, the quality of play is affected by the quality of the synthetic, even if the gut compensates for it. In this case, the synthetic crosses do not have the liveliness necessary to feel smooth on off-center shots.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Classic MP strung at 50 pounds LO (Tournafiber 16)

“This string started off feeling “stiff.” After about three hours it loosened up, but still didn’t feel comfortable.” 3.5 male all court player using Wilson Hammer 5.2 strung at 59/57 pounds CP (Wilson NXT Max 17)

“Gut mains showed light surface peeling during stringing.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Ti Radical strung at 70 pounds LO (Gamma Advantage 15L)

“The stnring started to fray within the first 3-4 hours of playing, and continued to get worse.” 5.0 male touch player using Head i.X16 strung at 65 pounds CP (Gamma TNT 16)

“I really don’t care for these strings because they are very springy, and it feels as though the ball doesn’t stay on the strings long enough.” 3.,5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson Triad 6.0 strung at 62 pounds CP (Gamma Syn Gut 16)

“I would love to try this in a thinner gauge.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Aeropro Drive + strung at 53 pounds CP (Babolat Pro Hurricane / VS gut 17)

“The center main broke at about the sixth cross from the top, at about seven hours of play. It began fraying and peeling shortly before breaking.” 5.0 male all court player using Bancroft Tour+ strung at 60 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch 16L)

“The synthetic cross broke. It seems to be too soft compared to the gut.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson H6 OS strung at 63 pounds LO (Babolat Conquest 16)

“This test sample does not fdeel quite as good as other gut hybrids. It’s very dry, which makes for tougher stringing.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Prestige strung at 58 pounds LO (Head Ultratour 17)

“The gut mains were too short. Glad to switch back to my regular string. I find this string to be powerful and overly “bouncy” with little to no control or spin potential.” 3.5 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal OS strung at 63 pounds LO (Klip Blast 16)

“Having strung hundreds of gut jobs over the last 30 years, I have never had the gut break during the tension pull, between the frame and the tension head. I would never consider using this string.” 4.0 male all court player using Yonex RDX 500 strung at 66 pounds LO (Gamma TNT 17)

“This string peeled or flaked so much during stringing that I had to clean my machine after every couple of pulls. It strung up almost as tight as my usual string. Lots of string movement early on. After no morne than two hours of play, it lost 18 percent of the stringbed stiffness. It played and felt okay, but I never want to string it again, even for free.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal 8 strung at 57 pounds CP (Poly 16)

Comments (nylon mains)

“I was thoroughly impressed with this string from the first hit, and am eager to discover what it is.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Protector MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Gamma ESP 17)

“Absolutely love this gut hybrid. It makes me want to change to it. Anyone with arm problems should give this string a try. It score high on durabilit, playability, comfort, power, and control for me. Can I get another free set?” 5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Pure Control Zylon + strung at 62 pounds LO (Babolat Super Fine Play 17)

“I found that this combination played as well as my normal string when I’ve used it as a hybrid. I’d use this instead, as it’s probably less expensive, and the results are equal or better.” 3.5 male touch player using Wilson H1 strung at 56 pounds CP (Babolat VS gut 16)

“I will definitely add this string to my favorites list. The power, comfort, and touch/feel are outstanding, while the other attributes are above average. Assuming that the price is reasonable, I will look to buy this string in the future.” 5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“I am pleasantly surprised by this hybrid. I wasn’t sure the gut would hold up, but it did, and I really liked the playability of the string combination. My regular string is great, but I have to say I would switch to this hybrid if given a choice between the two, depending on the price.” 3.5 female all court player using Prince AirLaunch 925 OS strung at 62 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 17)

“I have always liked gut hybrid strings. This one has very good feel, touch, control, and spin. You get a lot of confidence knowing you will have the feel and control of gut and yet the durability so that it will last. This is a great combination for those who want more performance in a string that will last longer than gut. I give high marks for a string combination that works together this well.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson NXT Tour 17)

“I liked this string from the moment I opened the package. During stringing there was a minor friction problem when pulling the gut through the nylon mains, but slowing down a little helped tremendously. On court, I immediately felt how comfortable the string is, and I lean toward softer strings. This swring definitel yfit into that category. I was able to maintain very good spin on the ball, so my kick serve worked very well with this string. My normal top spin ground strokes were jumping out of my opponents’ strike zones. Even with all my heavy spin, there was very little string movement. Even though I knew I was using a hybrid, I was constantly reminded of the days when I used all natural gut.” 5.0 male all court player using Dunlop Revelation Tour Pro strung at 52/50 pounds CP (various 16/17)

“This is a nice combination of nylon and gut. I play with gut and feel I lost very little feel or comfort with this string, and it held tension like gut. Good string if you like power, playability, and comfort.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Pure Drive + strung at 55 pounds CP (Babolat VS gut 16)

“Great string, all around. I would recommend it to hard hitters looking for lots of feel.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal 4 strung at 60 pounds CP (Gamme Live Wire 16)

“This string plays very well. The gut has some kind of coating that keeps flaking off during stringing and playing. The gut seems to be stiffer than the gut I am used to. The playability is better than some gut hybrids I have used. The ball comes off the strings very crisply. This would be a string I could play with.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Radical MP strung at 68 pounds LO (Bow Brand Championship 17)

“I liked this combination: it has control and comfort.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Aeropro Control strung at 61 pounds LO (Babolat Pro Hurricane 17)

“Great string for power, spin, touch, and feel. I did find it to lose tension sooner than other strings I have used. I would string it tighter next time.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson n5 strung at 62 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 16)

“This is a fabulous string, except for durability. Stringing with the gut crosses was made easier by pulling the string through a wax candle bxefore starting. Coating the gut prevented any burning or fraying. The string had superb feel! I had power and control, and good bite on spins. I would use this string if it lasted longer.” 5.0 female baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal 4 strung at 55 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 17)

“This is a wonderful hybrid string. Great feel, control, and power. Unfortunately, it broke after only two hours of use (a new personal “best”). It actually notched and broke the center mains. Tood bad, it really is a superb-playing combination.” 4.0 male serve and volleyer using Zebest Fine 90 strung at 60 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic Gut 16)

“I like this string. It’s as good as the string I usually play with.” 5.0 male serve and volleyer using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 54 pounds CP (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 17)

“A nice hybrid string combination.” 6.0 male using Prince Shark Mid strung at pounds CP ( )

“Pack measured 28 feet mains (nylon) and 19’6” for the crosses (natural gut). The nylon had no coil memory and was easy to string as well as tie-off. The natural gut was pre-stretched as one continuous piece (not via machine pre-stretch mode) with minimal coil memory during stringing. Also, the gut maintained its tip through shared holes but showed some friction during stringing. According to my Stringmeter, there was little-to-no tension loss after 24 hours as well as after the first play (4 hours). No final measurement prior to string breakage. The fifth main (nylon) at the ninth cross broke after 11 hours of high level play. The nylon showed notching throughout while the gut wore very well with minimal fraying.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal Radical strung at 62 pounds CP (Unique Tourna Poly Big Hitter 17)

“Overall, I was surprised by how well the string felt and played.” 4.5 male all court player using Volkl Tour 9 strung at 59 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This string is okay, although I expected more out of the gut.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson Sledgehammer 3.8 strung at 62 pounds CP (Gamma Live Wire 17)

“The first few hours of play felt great. I really liked the feel until I broke. the strings after six hours of play. I wouldn’t recommend this for topspin players. Overall I was impressed with this string, but they don’t fit my style of play.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head i.radical OS strung at 64 pounds LO (Forten Aramid Gear/Luxilon Big Banger 15/16)

“The overall playability of this string is nice, but it moves a lot, and lost tension quickly.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince More Game strung at 62 pounds LO (Prince Lightning XX 16)

“When I first started hitting with this string, it was super comfortable and I had great control. I thought I had found my new favorite string. However, just one hour into a hitting drill I popped three mains in the middle of the stringbed, dashing my hopes of having found a new string.” 4.0 male all court player using Yonex RDX 500 MP strung at 63 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“The strings lasted an hour and a half before the nylon mains broke. Good playability until then, probably due to the gut crosses.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 Original strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Timo 17)

“The breakage was clean-two main strings in the same spot I normally break strings. Great string overall. How about something more noteworthy for the mains?” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal 2 strung at 62 pounds LO (Luxilon Big Banger / Wilson NXT 16L/15L)

“Compared to natural gut, this string offers no worthwhile benefits.” 4.0 male all court player using Volkl Catapult 7 strung at 60 pounds CP (natural gut 16)

“An average string. The string split about two inches from the end during stringing.” 4.0 female all court player using Head Liquidmetal 8 strung at 60 pounds CP (Wilson synthetic gut 17)

“I really like the way this string feels immediately after stringing. The gut crosses gave the strings a nice playability, but I was very disappointed in the durability. This would make a great tournament string.” 5.5 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 63 pounds CP (Wilson Enduro Tour / Wilson NXT 16)

“Out of the package, this has the feeling of being a good string set. They were a little bit easier to install than normal. The main strings (white nylon) were easy to work with; the cross strings (natural gut) were a little soft, but okay. The cross strings got ‘shaved’ a little as I pulled them through the mains, which is probably normal for natural gut-I don’t really know since I don’t have much experience with gut. On court, these strings leave something to be desired. Control was exceptionally low at first, but did improve as more hours were put on the string. But even at the time of failure I would give this string a below average rating for Control. Power, Control and Comfort contribute to rating this string poor in Overall Playability. Even though this string lasted about as long as my normal string, I rated Durability below average because of how quickly the main strings notched. I always notch the mains so this is not unusual. However, the mains notched noticeably quicker than most strings. In the plus column, holding tension was better than most strings.” 5.0 male all court player using Head i.radical OS strung at 63 pounds LO (Gamma Synthetic Gut 16)

“Some abrasion on the gut right out of the package. Not bad to play with, though it felt slightly spongy and not as lively as my normal gut hybrid. Good tension hold.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince More Control DB 800 strung at 63 pounds LO (Prince Perfection/Babolat VS Touch 17/15)

“The gut seem difficult to pull through the grommet holes. It seems as though there’s not as much pop off the strings.” 4.5 female all court player using Dunlop 200G strung at 63/60 pounds LO (Alpha MXT 17)

“This string felt very stiff during stringing-even the gut-to the point of feeling brittle. The fut was difficult to install, and it seemed to have a coating that rubbed off when being pulled through the mains. This is not a string I would recommend or play again, unless I could try it with the gut in the mains.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 60 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 17)

“A stiffer combination than I expected.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Radical OS strung at 61 pounds LO (Head Ulttra Tour 17)

“Combining a polyester or nylon with gut in my opinion is not good. I would not recommend this combination to my customers unless they insisted.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal 2 strung at 54 pounds CP (Gamma Professional 17)

“The gut began fraying after 35 hours of play. I’m not a big fan of hybrid strings because I have a sensitive elbow. Tension did not last very long. Mains tended to move around a lot, which increased fraying on the gut. When it broke, both the mains and crosses went at the same time.” 5.0 female all court player using Dunlop 300G strung at 58 pounds CP (Prince Premier w/Softflex 16)

“I got a lot of friction burn when pulling the crosses. I do not like this string: no pop.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 Stretch strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 17)

(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)

Playtester ratings

EASE OF STRINGING Gut Ms Nylon Ms
(compared to other strings)
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 0 1
somewhat easier 6 6
about as easy 18 22
not quite as easy 12 9
not nearly as easy 2 0
OVERALL PLAYABILITY Gut Ms Nylon Ms
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 5 6
somewhat better 11 13
about as playable 10 7
not quite as playable 8 12
not nearly as playable 2 1
OVERALL DURABILITY Gut Ms Nylon Ms
(compared to other strings
of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 1 1
somewhat better 11 6
about as durable 16 14
not quite as durable 4 10
not nearly as durable 4 8
RATING AVERAGES Gut Ms Nylon Ms
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 4.0 3.9
Durability 3.4 2.8
Power 4.0 3.7
Control 3.9 3.8
Comfort 3.9 3.8
Touch/Feel 3.9 3.7
Spin Potential 3.5 3.7
Holding Tension 3.6 3.6
Resistance to Movement 3.5 3.4

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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 greg@usrsa.com, or through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He plays tennis five days a week, and is turning into an avid cyclist.

 

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