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Babolat Tonic+ Natural Gut 16 String Customer feedback

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Comments: I have put around 12-15 hours in on these strings so I feel like I can now provide a decent review. I put a full bed of these strings in at 60 lbs. in my Prokennex Ki Q5 295. I was suffering from some golfers elbow. To make a long story short, I really like these strings, and so far they have been well worth the money. They are comfortable on the arm. My arm no longer pulsates in pain after playing (my racquet also helps this a lot). I can get great depth and spin with these strings, and they supply plenty of power when I want it. What I've noticed most about this natural gut is its ability to keep tension. I was hitting with Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 18. The X-One is a great string, but you could definitely tell when it started to lose tension after 10 hours. This natural gut still feels like it's brand new.
From: Anon, 11/13

Comments: This will be different - I play a friend of mine once a week and recently he broke his strings, which were Babolat Tonic 16g Natural Gut. He switched to his other racquet which had synthetic gut strings in it and, trust me, he was like a different player, really. His groundstrokes with the Babolat Tonic Gut strings are fierce, with lots of spin, power and depth, and with the synthetic gut it was the complete opposite. It really was like he went from a 4.0 player to a 3.5 player without his gut strings! I'm sold and now I will be stringing my other racket with these strings.
From: Joe, 4/13

Comments: I am an old school player, with a one handed backhand, using a Wilson BLX 95 racquet and for me, some of the top multi filaments like Technifibre X One or NXT might be great when freshly strung, but they become un-playable after 8 hours even if they don't break. And the performance deteriorates sharply towards the last few hours (and I don't even consider myself a string breaker). So in terms of useable life compared to cost, nothing beats this. I can get about 12 hours of usable life in it. And the performance is more consistent throughout. If you have tennis elbow problems, nothing beats gut.
From: Mark, 2/13

Comments: I've been playing with Babolat Tonic for over a year now, and have settled on Tonic 16g in the mains of my Volkl Power Bridge 10 Mid and Weiss Cannon Turbo Twist 1.18 in the crosses at 59/57 lbs. I let the racquet sit for a day or two for the tension to stabilize before I play it. I like everything about this combo - comfort, power, control, spin, durability, and the strings don't move. My game is a little old-school - eastern grips, all-court to serve-and-volley. Works great for me.
From: Rob, 4/12

Comments: Picked up this set and learned that it has the BT7 formula now even though the product image on TW doesn't show BT7. That being said instead of putting in it a full bed I strung it in the mains with ALU Power in the crosses. Enjoying this set very much.
From: Jeff, 4/12

Comments: I like the Babolat Tonic + Ball-Feel Natural Gut 16 a lot. Good choice if you are not a string breaker.
From: Anon, 10/11

Comments: I switched racquets and string set-ups since my review of these strings in May 2010. I have tried many string sets since, and I have found one to stick with. So, I now play with Tonic+ (56 lbs) in the mains and Luxilon Alu Fluoro 17 ga (55 lbs) in the crosses on a BLX 6.1 Tour, no vibration dampener. This string set packs a huge punch and generates lots of spin. My kick serve to the backhand in the ad court is basically unplayable for people with a one-handed backhand, and my inside out forehand just leaps off the court. I played with Tecnifibre X-one Biophase 17 ga. as a full string set or in the mains combined with the Luxilon Alu Fluoro, but I kept ripping through strings after about 10 hours of play. The gut mains have held up for 20 hours already without any signs of fray or notching. Tonic+ is more expensive, but the extra life I get out of them is worthwhile, not to mention the gas I save by not having to drive to the store. I don't think I will be changing from this set up for a while.
From: David K. 5/11
BLX 6.1 Tour with lead to 13.0 ounces, strings as above.

Comments: This is a follow-up to the report directly below by me. I happened upon a post on the TW board regarding a player who experienced the same disappointment after playing with the strings for the first time today. I wrote back to him and realized that I had better come back to my review and make some comments here also. The strings seem to come alive after about two days. Yes, really. At day three I was powering the ball whenever I needed to, effortlessly. My touch is better than the NRG 17, my serves are great and I actually have confidence in a drop shot actually dropping and stopping. So, try this string. But give it 6 sets before you make up your mind one-way or the other. I would have never thought so as Gut holds tensions so well...but it just seems to wake up.
From: Keith, Leesburg, VA, USA, 01/11

Comments: I had these strings installed when I ordered my Boris Becker V1 Classic from TW. This racquet is notorious for being arm friendly and soft with a low 63 stiffness, even less than the Volkl C1 classic (its sister racquet and parent company). With the discount on the strings for purchasing it from them, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to really go arm friendly a splurge on gut! I had demo'd the Volkl first, and found it to be exactly what I was looking for. No wonder Volkl continues to keep it in production. But with the BB spec stiffness even lower, and all the reviews about the sweet-spot being even more generous, I bought it. The point in all of this is that when I hit the courts with my new stick, I was extremely disappointed. It felt like a board, felt as though it was strung at 63lbs instead of the 54lbs that it really was strung at. (My demo, strung with a Gamma Live Wire 16 felt buttery soft, pocketed well and gave ample touch and power.) I played 3 very focused hours trying to loosen it up and find the tiny sweet-spot. Auggh! On a positive note, my serves and overheads were like thunder! I really hate to cut 'em out...
Regular stick: Volkl Tour 8 using Tech NGR2 17 at 60lbs. Wonder why tennis elbow is acting up? Classic strokes one handed backhand, 4.0 rated doubles player, playing since 1974.
From: Keith, Leesburg, VA, USA, 01/11

Comments: This was my first gut. I had it put on my brand new Dunlop 4D Aerogel 300 (16x18) at 57 lbs of tension. It played with a lot of power and decent control. Notably, this racket is not known for generating lots of power, so the extra something from gut was welcome. I did not think it offered much more spin. My serve is really "dialed in," and I can hit for velocity slice or heavy topspin without much difficulty. I am a 4.0 player who predominantly hits from the baseline with a fair amount of topspin, and I play 90% on HarTru. These strings frayed almost immediately, but they haven't broken after 20+ hours of play. They seem to be losing tension and feel by now, but I figure I got a bargain. Just be sure you don't take it to a speed- stringer!
From: David K, Weston, CT USA. 5/10

Comments: Dead and hard like a rock! No playability or power. I requested to be strung at 57 lbs on a new Babolat pure drive GT, but felt like 59 lbs or higher. Didn't like it at all.
From: Anon. 04/10

Comments: Just wanted to re-emphasize my earlier review of this string. I wrote about in 5/08 (see other review). After 18 months of using this string, I am still buying it. My racket setup and string are the same as when I posted my previous review, and my game has continued to improve. I can tell how badly I played when I accidentally bought the 15 gauge Tonic instead and had my racket strung up - it fell flat. I can't to use the 16 gauge for great ball feel.
From: Brian, Savannah, Ga, USA 09/09

Comments: Tonic+ gives me enough control and power. I strung these strings at 59lbs on Price Ozone Seven. My shots are heavier. These strings are very soft as I used to play fully poly on 62lbs. One problem is that these strings can fray more easily than I expected. I recommend these to those who have money and time to try these strings. I will string next time at 61-63 when the max tension of these string is about 63lbs.
From: Fotis, Greece. 3/09

Comments: I string my Prince O3 Speedport White 60 lbs. Tonic + in mains, 58 lbs.Signum Pro Poly-Plasma Pure 17L(1.18) in the cross. I drop down 2 lbs. on the poly. It really opens up the sweet spot. This is a great combo! I have experimented with a lot of strings and combos, so far this is the best. I string my racquets,and you have to be careful on the first two pulls because the string is very soft and the coating they put on the string for moister will let it slide in the diamond dust clamp. So I clamp the first pulls a little tighter.(NOT SO MUCH TO DAMAGE THE STRING) After the first two pulls a lot of the stress is on the frame and not the clamps, so I loosen the clamps a bit. This set up gives you everything: Great feel, very accurate shots, power and great spin. The poly in the cross really helps with better durability. I do recommend it for players who want the feel of natural gut with durability and control with no loss in power.
From: Dennis, Burnsville, NC, USA. 7/08

Comments: I never believed the hype about natural gut. Reviews said that the new multi-filaments were just as good. And cheaper. Not true. There is nothing like the feel and control of this string. Best ever. And doesn't break, at least for me.
From: Marc, Leesburg, VA, USA. 7/08

Comments: This string at 63 pounds on a Babolat Pure Drive Plus (11.2 oz version, not the Roddick version), allows me to hit the forehand as hard as I want and with stunning pace. I was amazed. When I went to have it restrung with the top of the line Babolat gut, it was an awful replacement. I went back to the Tonic at 63 lbs and the racquet was good as new again. I never imagined a better combo but it works so well. The rest of my shots have also become a lot more precise and heavier. I will buy plenty of this for a long time.
From: Brian, Savannah, GA, USA. 5/08

Comments: This is the best string I ever played with. It's very soft on the shoulder and gives you a lot of control. I am suck at volley but with this string my volley becomes very accurate. But one thing disappoints me that after 8 games of play the string broke (I am a 54 year old Asian male who never breaks string before).
From: Don, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 05/08

Comments: Highly recommended! Great string for the money, and lasted about 2-3X as long as Xcel or NXT as a cross string. I've strung my Graphite Classic 93 at 58# with VS Gut on my cross strings for years (I use Pro Hurricane Tour 17g at 58# on the mains) and really couldn't tell any difference between them. For the price difference, it's well worth the savings. I won't use it for a main string, since I hit a fairly hard ball with heavy spin, and only get about 4-5 hours out of a full set vs 7-9 hours when I use it only on the crosses, which I'm more than happy with. As a reference I only get about 2 hours out of Syn Gut or Stamina. When I used it with PHT 16g it broke before the mains did after about 10 hours.
From: Kevin, Windermere, FL, USA, 06/07

Comments: This is a good string. It is soft, comfortable, easy to generate spins and it gives you feel. It's strung on my Ncode 90 at 56 lbs.
From: Albert, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 5/07

Comments: This is now my string! I had some pain in my elbow, so I decided to step up and try this string. My elbow pain went away very quickly, not to mention this was the best string I had ever played with. It has so much feel! And when I use it in a hybrid with the Pro Hurricane Tour 17g on the mains, I also get longevity. With this hybrid, I get PLENTY of matches in before it pops. Yes, it does fray fairly quickly, but it will still perform up to my expectations. Try this string! I know it's pricey, but I just don't think you will be disappointed. I am an average string breaking 3.5 - 4.0 who plays with a Prince Tour NXG Oversize strung at 62lbs several times a week.
From: Jesse, Chattanooga, TN, USA, 03/07

Comments: It's an amazing string! Used as a hybrid w/ ALU power rough on my Aero pro drive @ 50 lbs, it worked like a charm! Perfect feel, depth, control, and spin. All my shots were hard, heavy and deep! After using polyester all this time, I felt no shock, but perfect feel!
From: Kevin, Irvine, CA, USA. 10/06

Comments: Wow is all I can say. I played with gamma ruff for my whole life. (I still love the spin). But wow, this string has a lot more power, yet it also has more control. I have had problems with my shoulder and I feel a lot less discomfort using this string. I will need to hit with it more to see if I can maintain this level of play or if I have just entered the zone. If it truly is the string, then I would most likely use this string all the time in tournaments at least.
From: Roland, Taber, Alberta Canada 08/06

Comments: Everyone needs to try this string just once! Could have saved a boat load of money on over 100 racquets demoed and bought since 1999! I have been on a hunt for power, control, and arm protection since I could no longer get around a 12.25 ounce Head Genesis 660, an otherwise perfect cannon with the largest sweet spot in tennis. I have been through many expensive racquets: seven or eight volkls, ten or fifteen princes, Head's, Wilsons, the list is endless. I tried many synthetic strings at varying tensions from high to low. I just couldn't buy enough power to get the ball to the baseline. I thought several times about giving up a game I have loved for 45 years. Then I stumbled on a discussion of natural gut, read the posts, and bought some tonic + 16g and strung up (55#) a Volkl Catapult V1 MP and played with it. Fabulous!!!!! I was ripping groundstrokes to the baseline from a backhand which I could only get to the service line for six years! I ripped cross-court forehands from corner to corner for the first time in 20 years! Booming serves. Some floated strokes but I'll get used to handling the power. And drop shots 18 inches from the net! Everyone should try natural gut... and Tonic 16G is where to start. I don't know about durability... I no longer break strings, but frankly, I wouldn't care if I had to string it once a week. I doubt that I will have to from what I read. I could have saved so much money on racquets... many would have worked with gut.
From: Paul, Atlanta, GA USA 04/06

Comments: My first dive into natural gut, and there is a definite difference. I'm a feel player, and these strings gave fantastic feedback. I got gut for the first time because of bad case of tennis elbow, and I now play pain-free (note: lots of rehab and no tennis for 3 months, but I'm back and playing). compared to some of the other "arm-friendly" strings that I tried that are not gut, those synthetic strings do provide lots of dampening and are good for the elbow, but provided no feedback, which i hated. Gut is the way to go from now on for me. my only complaint about this string is that it frayed very quickly.
From: Gus, Austin, TX USA 01/06

Comments:Tonic+ was my first gut strings that I have tried with my Babolat Pure Drive+. My hits feel crisper than with other synthetic strings like Sensation. What I learned by using them twice is they have more power than I was used to and would string next time at 65 lbs. I had difficulty keeping groundstrokes inside the lines when I had them strung at 58 first time and 61 second time.
From: Bryan
Atlanta, GA 10/05

Comments:Tonic+ lasted me about 3 hours on my Wilson ncode nsix-one 95. I think it hit awesome, and it felt good on my elbow, but if I was to do it again. I would use it only on my crosses and not at all on my mains. I am an average string breaker. I just felt they broke way to easy.
From: Roy Herrera
Poulsbo, Washington, USA 10/05

Comments: For a while, I was looking for the right tennis string. I had my mind set on Klip Adrenalin (half natural gut, half polyester), which was a beautiful combination, with a very soft and comfortable feel. I was about to buy 6 packets, until I browsed through Babolat Natural Gut strings. For me, Babolat Natural Gut was a legendary string but out of reach because of the price. That was until I bought a pack of Babolat Tonic+ Natural Gut 16. Absolutely slaughters the Klip Adrenalin for performance, and lasted me about 2 months (playing 3 times a week for 2 hours each day). I would recommend this string to anybody, as it is the ultimate string.
Also, it was strung in a Head Liquidmetal Prestige MP, at 58 lbs.
From: Jacob, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 7/05
NTRP Rating: Different rating system here, I play Section 2 Pennant.

Comments: Best gut string out there for price. This string comes off the same production line as Team and Touch. It just doesn't measure to the strict requirements of thickness that Team and Touch has. Tonic is not consistent in thickness throughout the set. That is why the thickness is a range (1.28mm -1.32mm) and not a set measurement like Team and Touch. You basically get the same string for cheaper!!! Alex, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. 06/05
From: Alex, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. 06/05

Comments: Wow what a great string. If you have a classic racquet like me try this string. I string my pro staff 6.0 85 at 55 lbs. and it is sweet. I have experimented with a lot of string and so far this is the best. I think I am going to stick with this set up for a while, it's been about 2 months now and the string and the performance is still there. If you are not a string breaker or if price don't matter do yourself a favor, try this string or any gut for that matter, it will be worth it considering the feel and performance you get. Very comfortable and it feels like the ball stays longer in my racquet.
From: Tim, Fremont, CA, USA. 05/05

Comments: What a great natural gut string. At 10 bucks less than the VS Touch or Team; it's a great buy. Same Babolat quality/durability/playability. This string is actually rated softer than the VS Touch 16 by the USRSA. I like this gut string best of all other available guts by any company. Babolat - great job!
From: Bill, Alberta, Canada. 12/04

Comments: I love this string on my Head I prestige. Great feel and comfort. Babolat gut is so much better than other brands in finish. Much smoother, allowing less fraying and better durability. Much better feel that 15L tonic.
From: David, Arlington, VA, USA. 10/04

Comments: I'm an instructor for beginner to elite tennis athletes and teach about 50 hours per week- this includes playing lessons with elite players. Even with all this pounding I got 8 weeks out of a set of this gut. the Thermogut process really improves the fiber adhesion and moisture resistance (I live in the South with both high humidity and temperature). I saw fraying only just before string failure. It's easy on the arm and provides an excellent level of power, control and feel. This is a great buy.
From: Steve, Georgia, USA. 8/04

Comments: Best string for my Babolat Pure Drive Plus that I've ever used. Great control and durability. I can get about a week (20 hours) of play out of it.
From: Brian, Purvis, MS, USA. 3/04

Comments: I put this string in my ProStaff last October. I got over 3 months of solid play out of it. It feels almost as great as VS Power with better durability and price. I was impressed with how the string maintained its tension.
From: Tom, Minnespolis, MN, USA. 2/04

Comments: I put these strings on my Head i.S2 OS and It feels great! Not soft as Wilson Sensation (What I use mostly) but it gave me some boost on my volleys. It does add some power to my shots. So far there is no breakage or any sign of it. It is as advertised as a stronger natural gut string and feels and looks new after 2 weeks of playing. It is kind of expensive but it is a natural gut. I do recommend it for players who want the feel of natural gut with durability and some control/power.
From: S.Lee, Detroit, MI, USA. 11/03

Comments: If you want more playability, and you want to keep it a little bit more reasonable in price, buy it! The best price for natural gut!
From: Kenneth, Belgium. 9/03

Comments: This Tonic Natural Gut has taken my Game to a level I could not have imagined! I have much more power and control than ever before. I am sold on any natural GUT string for my tennis game. I will never play with synthetic again. If you want your game to go to the next level buy natural GUT!
From: Jose, Denver, Colorado, USA. 3/03

Comments: I like the Babolat Tonic + Ball-Feel Nat Gut 16 better than the BDE Performance 17 gut. Good choice if you are not a string breaker as it is reasonably priced and offers the typical playability and power/control of gut.
From: Moses, Mission Viejo, CA. USA 7/02

Comments: With the price of top-notch synthetics rising ever higher, this product is a better buy than any them. Great feel, power, and control. None of the string shifting you find with synthetics, either. It's well worth the few extra dollars it costs opposed to a high-end synthetic. For the money, this is a better buy (and far more playable) than anything Gamma, Wilson, etc, can come up with.
From: Steve, MI. USA 6/01

Comments: Tonic+ Tournois Natural Gut gives me great control and power. It is ideal for players looking for control without losing power.
From: Zach, Pittsford, NY. USA 3/01

Comments: I bought these strings cheaper than the usual price and I found them really good for control. I would not normally buy expensive strings like these although I really enjoy natural gut. This is a good natural gut but not as good as the VS Power also from Babolat. I tend to prefer a string like the Gamma TNT than a string like the Tonic Natural Gut.
From: Sylvain, Paris, France 3/01

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