Hey Dan, I have almost the same mower that you are talking about. I bought a new Cub Cadet 760ES 33" mower last summer. Mine has the Powermore (cub cadet branded) Engine (13-14hp according to powermore site) and electric start -- other than that it is the same as yours. My biggest gripe is the uncut blades of grass left behind after I cut the lawn. I am in MI and have a green, thick, Kentucky Bluegrass lawn. After one pass, I can see where the mower misses many, many blades of grass. I usually cut 2x a week, one notch below the highest setting. I use the gator blades and side discharge. I have tried a couple different blades (stock blades, gators, oregon high lift non-gator) trying to get a more even cut the first time. All cut about the same ---- the gators give me the least noticeable clippings.
If I double cut the lawn, I can usually get 90-95% of the blades cut. Problem is, double cutting takes my mowing time from 1hr 20min to about 2.5 - 3hrs (just for the mowing) --- sometimes I need to make a 3rd pass in the back yard. The front yard usually looks nice after one cut --- the back yard takes double or (sometimes) triple cutting. My yard is about 0.6 acres --- not really big, but big enough. I have tried all 4 transmission speeds and found that 2nd gear cuts best (3rd gear on double cut sometimes), but still not perfect.
After 100hrs (one year) of ownership, I have replaced one cable that engages the trans ($35) and the battery ($44). I was told that the cable would be covered under warranty, but I did not feel like taking my mower into the local lawn shop for 3 days --- so i changed it myself in 10min. The battery was out of the 1yr battery warranty, so I bought a diehard gold to replace it with.
I did change how my mower discharges a bit using a short bungee cord -- I attached one end of the bungee hook to the cage around the muffler and the other to the end of the discharge flap. This puts the discharge flap up at about a 30 - 45 deg angle ---- I know....."not safe". This discharges the grass clippings better and I somehow get less uncut blades (not sure why). I did throw a rock against the mailbox once, so I make sure the kids are not around me when mowning.
It does compress the grass quite a bit under the tires -- most of my uncut blades are the grass partially springing up from the last cut's wheel marks.
Question to anyone: "When double cutting, is it best to cut in 2 different directions or go over what you just cut in the same direction?" Currently I cut twice in the same direction, then change directions 4 days later when I cut again ----is this bad???
If anyone has any ideas on how to get less uncut blades, I would love to hear them --- I just want to cut once and put it away.