Tennis Industry magazine

 

Playtest: Unique Tourna Quasi-Gut

By Greg Raven

Tourna Quasi-Gut is an advanced multifilament nylon string meant to play and feel like natural gut, while maintaining better durability. Unique tells us that Tourna Quasi-Gut is constructed from thousands of tightly wound microfibers, each permeated with and contained in a new thermo-elastic polyurethane resin. According to Unique, this high tech resin greatly increases the durability and weather resistance of the string without compromising its natural gut-like performance.

Unique Tourna Quasi-Gut

Unique is promoting Tourna Quasi-Gut to advanced players who love the feel and performance of natural gut but need added durability, as well as to players who prefer a lively, responsive and powerful string, and players who suffer from tennis elbow or arm soreness.

Tourna Quasi-Gut is available in 16 and 17 in natural. It is priced from $7.95 for sets of 40 feet, and $99 for reels of 660 feet. For more information or to order, contact Unique at 800-554-3707, or visit uniquesports.com. Be sure to read the conclusion for more information about a special offer on Tourna Quasi-Gut.

In the lab

We tested the 16 gauge Tourna Quasi-Gut. The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter measured 1.31-1.33 mm before stringing, and 1.24-1.25 mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 77 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 × 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine.

Unique Tourna Quasi-Gut

After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 71 RDC units, representing an 8 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.

In our lab testing of 833 different strings, we found that Unique Tourna Quasi-Gut 16 has a stiffness of 185 lbs/in. and a tension loss of 15.59 lbs. Tourna Quasi-Gut 16 is lighter than average, adding 13 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

Being soft, Tourna Quasi-Gut is a pleasure to string, although as with other polyurethane strings you have to be judicious when pulling the crosses to avoid friction burn. We had no trouble getting the string through blocked holes.

No playtester broke samples during stringing, none reported problems with coil memory or tying knots, and one reported friction burn.

On the court

The string was tested for five weeks by 36 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages.

Our playtest team found Tourna Quasi-Gut 16 impressive even for a soft nylon, giving it ratings in the top 20 in four separate categories: 5th overall for Touch/Feel, 6th overall (tie) for Playability, 7th overall (tie) for Comfort, and 11th overall (tie) for Power. Bolstering these results are the teams’ well-above-average ratings for Tourna Quasi-Gut for Control, Spin Potential, and Tension Retention. As a result, Unique Tourna Quasi-Gut 16 is tied for 16th overall out of the 140 strings we’ve playtested to date for publication. Additionally, our playtest team told us that Tourna Quasi-Gut 16 doesn’t sacrifice playability for durability or vice versa.

Members of the playtest team averaged 19.8 hours of court time playing with the test sample. This includes the five playtesters who broke the sample during the playtest period, one at 6 hours, two at 10 hours, and one each at 11 and 13 hours.

Conclusion

It’s great to have a soft nylon score well in Touch/Feel, Playability, Comfort, and Power, with two of the playtest team comparing it favorablity to natural gut. That’s what you might expect from Unique Tourna Quasi-Gut 16. Then, out of left field, it also garners good marks for spin potential, and two members of the playtest team compare it favorably to polyester. According to our playtest team, this ain’t your father’s nylon string.

If you think that Tourna Quasi-Gut might be for you, Unique is making USRSA members in the U.S. a “buy one, get one free” offer (shipping additional). You can contact Unique at 800-554-3707.

Playtester comments

“All day comfort. Big topspin from the baseline. Touch and placement are effortless. Very solid feel at impact. Great control.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson nTour strung at 58 pounds CP (Head Sonic Pro 16)

“As a polyester player, I expected this string to be too powerful. Not so. The control is great and the feel is crisp. Very little string movement. Adequate spin, especially on kickers.” 4.5 male all-court player using Prince EXO3 Rebel (hole inserts) strung at 62 pounds LO (MSV Focus Hex/Prince Synthetic Gut Multifilament 17L/17)

“Excellent playability. Firm and responsive. Great control from the baseline and net.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson nTour strung at 58 pounds CP (Signum Pro Poly Plasma 18)

“This string has the control, power, comfort, and general responsiveness of natural gut.” 4.5 male all-court player using Volkl Power Bridge 1 strung at 58 pounds CP (Forten Dynamix 16)

“I am returning to the game from a hand injury. This string is exactly what the doctor ordered. Quiet and vibration free. Easy power.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head Flexpoint Radical MP strung at 53 pounds CP (Polyester 16)

“Good control despite the higher power level. Handles high tension very well. Decent bite and very little string movement.” 4.0 male all-court player using Prince O3 Speedport Pro White MP strung at 74 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation/Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 17/18)

“Great feel from the baseline. Spin, control, and power are excellent.” 4.0 male all-court player using Volkl V1 Classic strung at 57 pounds CP (Wilson Hyperlast Spin 19/16)

“Wow! In 20 years I have not experienced a string quite like this. It combines the best qualities of a polyester and multifilament nylon.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson K Tour strung at 66 pounds CP (Luxilon TIMO 18)

“Wow! Now I understand what is meant by the term ‘controlled explosion.’ These strings are very ‘gut like.’ Comfort and touch are outstanding. This could easily become my string of choice.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson nPro strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This is one of the best strings I have ever tested. One can’t help but notice the blend cocktail of power, comfort, and control.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head Liquidmetal 4 strung at 58 pounds LO (Luxilon Original 16)

“This is one of the best multifilaments I have ever used. Where do I sign?” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 63 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power Fluoro 17)

“Control, comfort, and playability in spades. Great feel.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Volkl DNX 9 strung at 53 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 16)

“Excellent feel. Surprisingly good durability for a nylon multifilament. Very responsive.” 4.0 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson K Six One (68 holes) strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

“This string has a firm feel with excellent bite. The high level of control leads to confident and aggressive targeting. Tension maintenance is outstanding. Power players will love the control.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Fischer Magnetic Pro No. One strung at 55 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)

“This string does it all. It takes weeks of playing before this string starts to peel. It never loses control or responsiveness. Big baseline bombs and soft net shots come off with equal precision. This ranks with some of the best strings on the market.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson Kobra Tour strung at 61 pounds CP (Wilson Hollow Core 16)

“These strings feel great from the very first hit. Though softer than my polyester set up, these strings offered the same level of control. The soft feel makes for easy volley placement. The bite is not quite on par with polyester. I am excited to buy a few sets and experiment with different tensions.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Tour Diablo MP strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power/Gamma Synthetic Gut 16/16)

“Great combination of comfort and control.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Drive OS Team strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Original 16)

“Very easy installation. Strings feel great for the first few hours. Remarkable power, touch, and spin. Almost like natural gut. Players with control issues are advised to use higher tensions. Tension maintenance is excellent.” 5.0 male all-court player using Yonex RDS 002 Tour strung at 57/54 pounds CP (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 17)

“This is a very comfortable string. It might be a little too soft, especially for the polyester crowd. Holds tension very well. Surprisingly durable.” 6.0 male all-court player using Wilson K Tour strung at 58 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 17)

“Excellent bite and resistance to movement. This string has much higher durability than is common for the breed. It provides some of the advantages of polyester without the stiffness.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Prestige Pro MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Rough/Head UltraTour 16L/17)

“Extremely easy to string. Excellent control. The feel is stiff at first. Over time it gets more comfortable.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Tour strung at 57 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)

“This is a very comfortable string with good power. I would definitely recommend it to my customers. Given the tension loss, pre-stretching is advised.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head MicroGEL Extreme Pro strung at 54 pounds CP (Isospeed Professional 17)

“These strings have a soft feel. Touch shots, drop volleys, and lobs are very easy to gauge. The added dwell time provides a wonderful sense of control. The moderate power allows one to take big cuts from the baseline. Notching starts at about the 6 hour mark.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGel Extreme strung at 52 pounds CP (Gamma Zo Tour 16)

“This string has a solid feel at impact. The spin potential is on par with polyester. Considering the breed, the durability is amazing.” 4.5 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Drive Control MP Team strung at 61 pounds CP (Prince Premier LT 17)

“This has the soft feel of a multifilament with the crisp control of a monofilament.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm GT strung at 57 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)

“Great touch. Easy on the arm. Lower power than expected. Tension stays consistent. I would have no problem recommending this to a wide range of players.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Extreme strung at 61 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)

“The soft feel and high power make this a fun string to hit with. Tension loss is noticeable after a few hours. Not quite as durable as polyester.” 5.0 male all-court player using Prince Thunder Ultralite Titanium OS strung at 50 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power/Wilson Extreme Synthetic Gut 16/16)

“Exceptional ball pocketing. Great spin potential. Strings move quite a bit. No vibration at impact. I would definitely consider using this string as a full set up or in a hybrid.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Radical MP strung at 59 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic Gut Multifilament 17)

“This string is a little too powerful for my aggressive stroke style. It is soft and forgiving on mishits. Recommended to players with moderate to low head speed who are looking for power and comfort.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Volkl C10 Pro strung at 50 pounds LO (Tecnifibre Black Code 18)

“Easy installation. Soft, responsive feel with a high dwell time. This would make a good hybrid cross.” 4.5 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm Tour strung at 57 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Red Code/Gamma Synthetic Gut 18/16)

“This string plays better after it settles in. It is a good all-around string. Having said that, however, I do not see a need to ‘stop the presses.’” 3.5 male all-court player using Prince O3 Citron OS strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Timo )

“This string does not survive the stringing process unscathed. It is very soft and stretchy. In play it is a comfortable, arm friendly string with almost no vibration or movement. Tension loss is minimal. Notching develops after 12 hours. Those with durability concerns are encouraged to use this as a hybrid cross.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head YouTek Speed Pro strung at 58 pounds LO (Weiss Cannon Scorpion 17)

“These strings start to move fairly early. This is a ‘middle of the road’ polyurethane string. It does not grab one’s attention like the top performers.” 3.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Blade strung at 58 pounds CP (Polyester/Nylon Multifilament 17)

“This string plays too stiff in the beginning. Off-center hits are accompanied by shock. Blocked shots do not achieve sufficient depth. After some tension loss, the stringbed becomes more responsive. While hard hit balls find their mark, shorter strokes are still quite anemic. Perhaps a lower tension would unlock the magic.” 4.0 male all-court player using Boris Becker Delta Core Legend strung at 59 pounds CP (Gamma Professional 18)

“There is some friction burn during cross installation. There is also some slight notching after 15 hours of play. This string lacks comfort and touch.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head MicroGEL Radical Team MP strung at 58 pounds CP (Gamma Professional 17)

“Given my affinity with soft strings, it took me a while to join the polyester revolution. While installing this string, I thought I was going to get sucked back into the nylon universe. It didn’t happen. While durability is impressive, control isn’t there. If anything, these strings reinforce how far polyester has come.” 4.0 male all-court player using Prince OZone Seven strung at 57 pounds LO (Luxilon M2 Plus 16)

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

Playtester ratings

EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 4
somewhat easier 17
about as easy 15
not quite as easy 0
not nearly as easy 0
OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 2
somewhat better 12
about as playable 12
not quite as playable 9
not nearly as playable 1
OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 0
somewhat better 12
about as durable 14
not quite as durable 9
not nearly as durable 1
RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability (6th overall — tie) 3.9
Durability 3.4
Power (11th overall — tie) 3.7
Control 3.6
Comfort (7th overall — tie) 3.8
Touch/Feel (5th overall — tie) 3.8
Spin Potential 3.4
Holding Tension 3.4
Resistance to Movement 3.2

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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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