Ashaway MonoGut ZX 16 String Natural Customer feedback

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Comments: I had the same experience as Bud's 7/15 comment below. The string broke while tying the first knot. I cannot visualize how this string plays and feels like gut. It seems very fragile. I was aiming for a tension of 60 pounds. Perhaps, this is my problem. Thus far in my testing Gamma Professional 16 plays and feels most like gut. I cannot recommend the Ashway product. I will try again at less tension and update my review.
From: Ken, 10/16

Comments: No, not quite. I am a 4.5-5.0 player using a RF97 Pro Staff Autograph. I use 16g gut mains and Signum Pro Poly Plasma 1.18 in the crosses. I occasionally read reviews saying that various strings are close to gut, so I occasionally try those strings. I would love to break my dependency on gut, if possible. This string, like others, does not play or feel like gut. I strung it at 51 lbs using my usual cross strings. None of the playing characteristics I value most were at the level of natural gut. Power was noticeably reduced and I found myself aiming at or beyond the opposing baseline to get my usual depth. Spin was good. Accuracy suffered and the string bed was much stiffer. Coming from natural gut, this set up felt more like a full poly bed than a gut poly hybrid. I would certainly recommend a test drive for anyone using full poly setups as it would definitely be softer and more flexible relative to most poly. For me, it's no good. I use gut mainly for feel, pocketing, and arm friendliness.
From: Anonymous, 9/16

Comments: Try out this string if you want an arm and shoulder friendly experience. I am loving the feel of the ball on this string. It's like a multifilament spin friendly gut. I am able to hit heavy balls with a full racquet swing. I doubt if I will be going back to polys again..
From: Rajesh, 3/16

Comments: There seems to be a divergent comment thread here if you scroll through the comments received to date, and I will add mine as a possible way to clarify some of this divergent opinion. First off, the composition of 'zx' is unique to Ashaway, thus many stringers out there at the club and tennis shop level may never have run across this string before, and some of the poor reviews may source from non-optimally installed stringing (i.e., massive loss of tension post stringing). Secondly, I'd wager that some reviews here are actually for the MonoGut (non-'zx' version) string. Poor nomenclature choice perhaps on Ashaway's part, because both strings play vastly different due to their differing compositions. Keep both these issues in mind when reading the past reviews. Also understand that this string is not a poly, it's composed of a unique material, 'zx.' As far as potential users go, this string performs best for big, heavy ball hitters using tour weight frames (i.e., strung weight above 11.5 ounces) with dense string patterns (i.e., 18x20). The string displays amazing ball pocketing, due to its unique elongation properties, and slides and snaps back easily for ball bite for folks using full western grips. However, if you don't hit big enough, and use a lighter frame, the string won't behave as described. It's almost as if the 'zx' composition needs a sufficient force applied to it before it behaves as advertised. Folks with low swing wgt frames, shorter swing paths and slower swing speeds likely are not stressing the string enough to get the string to 'perform'. This may lead to the complaints about it feeling stiff (I don't even use dampeners in my Wilson 6.1 or Dunlop Muscleweave 200 frames using a full bed of 'zx') and powerless (as ball pocketing hasn't really kicked in). For big, heavy ball hitters though, this string is the closest thing I have played with to the feel of natural gut, and adds about as much dependable control as LUX tour level string offerings do, but with a much softer feel. Tension loss is minimal, but predictable, so I typically install about 3 or 4 lbs above where I want the tension to settle in after an hour of hitting. Once it settles in, play-ability is uniform over the next 12-14 hrs of hitting. As the string ages it losses a bit of its snap back meaning you will have to adjust your strings a little as if you were using a multifilament. Ashaway also packages this 'zx' string as a hybrid, and it performs excellent in that manner too, used as a cross with their unique braided kevlar (I have that setup in my match play Six.Ones). You could also use it as the main and add a syngut of your choice as a cross and the 'zx' won't significantly notch the cross if it's a 'coated' cross string. Lastly, for folks who complain about the sound this string makes -- I'm not sure what to say about that, as it is a criteria that would never enter my mind as far as choosing a string goes. Bear in mind that, since this is the only string on the market that is composed of this specific material, it will be the only one that sounds the way it does. All in all, a tremendous playable and comfortable mono string for big hitters looking for a option outside of the common LUX offerings. Because it is not common, using it might just give you a performance advantage over the rest of the masses using big-name polys. Just make sure you (or your stringer of choice) understands this is not a poly and thus has some stringing requirements/care that need to be followed.
From: Geoff, 1/16

Comments: I love this string. I have been stringing it in the mains at about 48 lbs with Ashaway Liberty in the crosses, and the whole setup lasts for months and remains quite playable. No notching or dramatic loss of tension. When you combine it with a cheap cross like Liberty the whole setup costs $10.
From: Nick, 12/15

Comments: Since I got the RF97A, I've been experimenting with softer mains with poly cross hybrids as a viable alternative to sometimes harsh but spinny and long lasting full polys. Multifilaments and synthetic guts were a waste of time and would get shredded within 1-2 hours. Natural gut mains work well, but expensive and not entirely uniform due to the natural origins. Finally I tried the MonoGut ZX 16 (the natural color), I was surprised to find that this unique string does in fact offer an alternative to natural gut. It slides easily on the poly and has great initial give (like natural gut) and great ball bite and snap-back (like poly), so plenty of comfortable spin here with easy low speed pocketing which is great for slices/volleys/touch play. Another interesting property -- this string does not get notched with a poly cross! Which means it lasts and lasts and lasts without the usual deterioration of playability that polys suffer from. And since this string is monofilament you can apply silicone lubricant to the stringbed for even more spin and durability. There is one thing about this string that you may find to be a downside -- it vibrates at a higher frequency than even a poly, so you will hear a very distinct ping on impacts without a damper. Doesn't bother me though.
From: Anton, 9/15

Comments: Ashaway Monogut ZX 16 is wonderful as a cross string. For four months, I have been using Babolat Origin in the mains at 57 lbs with Monogut ZX in the crosses at 54 lbs in a Volkl V1 Midplus racquet. The feel is crisp without shocking my arm. The ZX is very dent resistant, allowing the mains to move and snap back into place. Durability has been very good and I haven't felt the performance change over time like with poly strings. The sound is tinny if used without a vibration dampener.
From: David, 8/15

Comments: The string broke while I was pulling the last knot (by hand). What was left was too short to tie the knot. A waste of $15.
From: Bud, 7/15

Comments: Not a fan. I had this strung 10% higher than my usual full poly set up and it just doesn't work for me. I find it over powered and tinny feeling. Nothing like gut. I had a few other guys play with my racquet and compare it to the same stick with Tour Bite. Everyone disliked the ZX feel and lack of spin.
From: Paul, 6/15 Comments: I think there must be some sort of formula switch with this string. I bought/used and liked this string I bought about a year ago. I bought a new pack and it plays nothing like the so called same string as the one I just purchased. Same racquet combination, same tension but plays and feels no where close to the older one. I cut out these strings I did as a hybrid with gut. That was a mistake. Too stiff and plastic feeling. I was afraid I would get tennis elbow or should problems with this string after reading the review two below mine (from David). Sorry I have to give this a thumbs down vote. If this is a new formula, please bring out the old formula version.
From: Mike, 9/14

Comments: I played with this string in a two different racquets and the first one was a BLX Pro Staff 95 as a cross with XCel 17 and it was ok. Then I tried it in a Pro Staff 95S as a main and it felt horrible. It feels too plastic and stiff and my sensitive elbow didn't like the strings at all. I did cut it out the next day. I can't see where it feels like a gut -- it's not even close. I don't recommend buying this string.
From: Evan, 9/14

Comments: I played with this string for a month, strung it twice at 55 lbs mains and 50 lbs crosses on a 95 18x20 string pattern with a 62 RA. It gave me good spin, but it felt kinda stiff. I thought it was stiff because of of advanced opponets, but I got the worst tennis elbow I ever got in my life. I'm writing this review after having tennis elbow for over 9 weeks. Do not buy this string if you think it's going to be good on the elbow. I played with rough polys like LUX rough, snake bite, and others strung at 58 lbs and it did not give me this type of issue. If you are going to buy this string, string it at high 40s lbs or lower. Be careful of this string. I am a 4.5 player,and I play about 4 times per week.
From: David, 4/14

Comments: This string is revolutionary. You should try to pre-stretch it before you use it. It is simply amazing.
From: Fred, 4/14

Comments: I bought two sets of strings based on their amazing physical metrics. On paper, in terms of physical properties (stiffness, etc.) they seemed to be the closest thing to gut. However, in the real world, they felt horrible. The stringer told me those were some of the stiffest strings he had ever strung. After playing for 30 minutes, I decided to cut my losses short and cut them and return to my standard Technifibre X-Biphase 16 gauge. If you like any of such "soft" playing strings that play gut like, you will most probably hate this ZX strings. It plays completely differently. It feels stiffer. It has a disturbing high metallic sound. When I played during the same practice session with my Technifibre X-Biphase, the contrast was brutal. There was no doubt, I had to replace the ZX with the X-Biphase immediately. I am really puzzled on how a string can look so good on objective physical metrics (low stiffness like gut). But, actually feel, play, and sound just the opposite is beyond me. My take is that the physical metrics capture one thing. And, they miss out a lot. In other words, don't just buy strings based on excellent metrics as I have. The latter provides you either flawed or incomplete information.
From: Guy, 11/13

Comments: Too much vibration with these strings. Need to be used with higher tensions (close to 60 lbs), but they aren't designed to be strung at the high tensions (difficult to string it at 58 lbs and higher). Durable, holds tension well, good balance for all types of strokes. It isn't very efficient in terms of developing of spin. I cannot recommend these.
From: Bedrock, 10/13

Comments: Fantastic string! This is the second feedback after April, 2013. Now I hybrid ZX on the crosses with a soft co-poly on the main. My favorites are 17ga YTex Pro-Tour and 17g Topspin Cyber Blue. These hybrids are phenomenal in their performance characteristics such as feel, comfort, power, control, durability, etc. Tension retention seems to be quite good when properly handled. ZX is a highly elastic string. It stretches while being pulled, you are gonna have to pull three times or more making sure stretching has stopped. Therefore, stringing will be more time consuming than other type, but it's worthwhile. Now I have four of my customers on MonoGut ZX.
From: Mike, 7/13

Comments: This string plays amazing as a cross string. I was playing with some unknown super soft synthetic and it killed all the feel and touch from my K90 racquets, something I thought no string could do, so I cut that out in three days. Then I tried this string and it feels better than LaserFibre string (if anyone remembers the brand), it seems that the string is best as a hybrid and not a full bed, tension maintenace so far seems great, but I've only hit three hours with it.
From: John, 6/13

Comments: I strung this at 55/53 lbs in a modified Pure Storm GT using an electronic CP machine following Ashaway's detailed instructions to avoid breakage during installation. It's a very comfortable string with a feel similar to a very soft co-poly or stiff multi. However, it's also very powerful and offers very little control or feel. After a month of testing I came to the conclusion that other strings offer far more control and more spin with the same power for the same or lower price. The string is simply too erratic in performance compared to strings in the same price range.
From: Tim, 6/13

Comments: Fantastic string. It has it all. Power, ball pocketing, arm friendliness, durability, to name a few. I think it's wrong to compare this with a poly. The elongation is like a soft multi, yet the durability is close to a poly. I first tried MonoGut ZX full bed on my Microgel Radical OS and it feels weird. Then I used it on the mains with Isospeed Control Classic 16 on the crosses. Now it's a million dollar hybrid. There is one caveat though! You have to double or triple pull since the string keeps relaxing during stringing. Ashaway acknowledges it. I would recommend every serious tennis player should try it out. I am a 3.5- 4.0 doubles player and a USRSA certified stringer.
From: Mike, 4/13

Comments: I like this string. It is soft on the arm, powerful, good spin, does not need straightening, and holds tension. Plays a bit like a poly but also very soft and powerful.
From: Downunder, 3/13

Comments: Be sure you are commenting on the Zyex Monogut, rather than the Monogut. There is a big difference. The Zyex Monogut is softer and has better feel. It's a great string, though more expensive than the Monogut. Zyex Monogut has nearly the durability of polys and impressive feel. I string it at 54 lbs and it plays very similar to natural gut. The only strings that play as well and are not natural gut are Wilson NXT and Tecnifibre Biphase. The Zyex Mongut lasts 3 times as long as either.
From: G.T.M., 12/12

Comments: I absolutely love this string. It gives me great pop on flat serves. My kick serve kicks and my groundstrokes have great topspin and my slice bites. I just recently had rotator cuff surgery and played with a poly string. This string is a little much as a full bed and can definitely feel a bit harsh. However, if you put this string in the mains with a soft syn gut or multi in the cross, it plays amazingly well. I strung mine in a Prince EXO3 Rebel 98 at 54 pounds in the mains and 57 pounds in the crosses with Ytex YTouch (similar to Wilson Sensation).
From: Dan, 12/12

Comments: I like this string a lot but why do the crosses move in both directions (up and down). The verticals never move. I've been stringing for 30 years while never experiencing this phenomenon with any other string. I can't find an explanation anywhere on the internet.
From: David, 7/12

Comments: To me, this string played like any soft poly. Very, very similar to a Polyfibre or MSV string. I have a wrist injury and I need a soft string bed, I was hoping for a nice control string that didn't make my wrist hurt. Ashaway Monogut is not it. To mention the word "gut" in the description of this string, should be criminal.
From: Bud, 3/12

Comments: I thought I would try a new string and unfortunately I wasted my money on this string. I purchased a new frame and choose this string to be strung at 58 pounds, but after playing with it for two hours, it felt like it had lost all its tension. I had our stringer test the tension and it was registering at 34 pounds in center of the sweet spot and 40 on the outer edges of the string bed. I had the frame restrung using Ashaway's 17 gauge Kevlar for the mains and used the Ashaway MonoGut ZX 16 gauge for the crosses at 58 pounds for both strings. After two hours of doubles play, the tension then registered at 50 pounds. If you are a heavy hitter, I would not recommend this string.
From: J.P., 10/14

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