I didnt have much luck with the straight blades. It appears the 52" stens blades are not as close to OEM specs as the 60" stens are. I hope you have better luck than me. I did look at some older Gravely reviews on here and many said the OEM blades had the best cut with the x-factor deck. I want to try the fusion high lift notched. Its just me being cheap..I should just order a few sets of OEM blades and keep them sharp. My thinking is the X-Factor deck is very picky and I know excels with really sharp OEM blades. It must also be picky with different blade designs?
I think your probably right on about the deck being picky. Mine is doing pretty good just the way it is, but I plan on pitching my deck another 1/8" for a total of 1/4", per my rep, and see if it stripes even better. Then I might try some straight blades.