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View Full Version : Is constant pull marketing hype?


barry
11-30-2006, 02:36 AM
Before you spend a lot of money on a constant pull stringing machine consider my recent experience at a local pro shop:

I was at a local tennis shop discussing machines with an individual who has been stringing rackets for 30 years. The subject of constant pull came up, and he claims it is marketing hype. We walked over to his stringer and proceeded to string a racket. He asked me to time him on the length of time tension is being pulled on the tensioner before the string is clamped, I replied 4 seconds. He then asked, how long before the next string is positioned and ready to pull tension? I replied 14 seconds. On a constant pull machine you are pulling tension for 4 seconds, but are locked out by the clamp for 14 seconds. The clamp act as the lockout mechanism negating the benefit of the constant pull tensioner. In effect the constant pulling tensioner is disrupted by the clamps which cannot do anything but hold the string at the current tension. After reading the article at http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200609/200609stringselector.html discussing what happens to string tension, he may be right. More tension is lost once a force is applied to the string, than worrying about 1 or 2 pounds of tension on the stringing machine. As an example, Prince synthetic gut 17 strung at 62 pounds lost 10.69 pounds after allowed to sit for 200 seconds, and then struck 5 times by an object emulating a tennis ball.

Constant pull verdict is still out for me, I have owned both!

Audiodude
11-30-2006, 03:59 AM
I've always believed that consistent, repeatable results were all that mattered. I think that the clamps and mounting system contribute as much to that as the tensioning mechanism. I can see how constant pull fans arrive at their conclusion that constant pull is more "accurate", but I do think their arguments are inherently specious. If a tensioning mechanism can achieve the same results over and over, then it's doing its job perfectly well. Regardless of how it goes about doing it.


Mike

LttlElvis
11-30-2006, 05:57 AM
I agree with Audiodude. Consistent and repeatable jobs are what count. I am able to get consistent string jobs with my crank, but using an electronic tensioning system (for me) makes it much easier, and less margin for error.

eunjam
11-30-2006, 07:55 AM
i think most professional stringers aren't replying to this because it's such a no brainer. (i'm talking about the stringers that string at pro tourneys and grand slams.)

jj300
11-30-2006, 08:00 AM
I'm gona jump on this one more time. Barry, explain what you mean by 14 seconds to reposition the next string and ready to pull? What takes the stringer 14 seconds to do and what machine is he using?

barry
11-30-2006, 09:03 AM
eunjam

i think most professional stringers aren't replying to this because it's such a no brainer. (i'm talking about the stringers that string at pro tourneys and grand slams.)

Not sure you are aware, but drop weight machine are also constant pull machines, and I have never seen one used at a ATP event. Also the reason electronic machines are used is better consistent tensioning (digital verses analog) and features like pre-stretch which is not available on drop weight or crank machines. Overall electronic machines are easier to use.

Jj300

I'm gona jump on this one more time. Barry, explain what you mean by 14 seconds to reposition the next string and ready to pull? What takes the stringer 14 seconds to do and what machine is he using?

The racket was mounted and clamped on the 4th main string. When tension was pulled (average time the string was under tension (tensioner) was 4 seconds). Next he threaded the long end thru the racket and positioned it in the tensioner (14 seconds). He then pulled tension using the tensioner, and clamped it off again. Etc... etc...

His point is you are using constant pull for 3 to 4 seconds pulling tension, but the clamp (14 seconds passed to position the next string) acts as a lockout (which cannot do anything but hold the pulled tension like a crank locks out). No matter what style machine it is crank, drop weight, or electronic, it still locks out when the clamp is set.

Machine he using is a Prince Neos crank machine. But it is really immaterial. I do think he makes a valid point about the clamp being the lockout device!

jj300
11-30-2006, 12:00 PM
barry,
I'm not sure how much more convincing you need but here is my case one last time. You mentioned the clamps holding the string for 14 seconds but you also mentioned "(average time the string was under tension (tensioner) was 4 seconds)". I agree the clamps are there as a "lock-out" device to keep the tension on the string;however, your reasoning prior to that is false. The average 4 seconds you mentioned is what makes a crank less accurate than an electric. String a racket using ur stringer, and let me string ur racket on an aria. If ur stringer varied the seconds of cranking the string btw lets say 3 and 5 seconds, the stringbed on your racket will NOT be the same as the one done on my aria, even if he compensated 10% for the tension difference. This tiny variances in seconds is what makes the stringers consistence variable at best. This average cranking is what makes a crank less precise compared to an electric stringer. Take this example into account: you are not busy and have one racket to string in a day, in a few weeks you have 6 rackets to string in a day, are you telling me that racket from the first day and a racket from the batch a few weeks later recieved the exact average cranking time? I say no they have not, you are naturally inclined to string faster when you have more rackets to do, this transfers to faster cranking speed, and a different stringbed stiffness than the racket that was strung a few weeks prior on a non busy day.

Going back to your example from the usrsa. When stringing on a cp machine the initital tension before the string was impaced by a ball will always be higher. This was shown done by research by usrsa as well. The tension loss on a racket strung on a crank machine is higher than on a racket strung with a cp machine. So if you have 2 rackets, strung at 60 cp and 60 crank. If you let them sit for 200 seconds, the crank racket will already posses lower tension even prior to being impacted by a ball. Don't have time to find the article, but if you research it, you will find the table im referring to.

So yes the clamps are a lock out device, but what happens before the clamps is what differentiates a cp from a crank machine. It does not matter if you compensate 10% for the tension diff, the cp stringbed will always tend to feel more solid because the difference btw tensions on each string is a lot less compared to a crank. Just a finale thought, just because someone is stringing for 30 years does not mean **** to me. I get that argument everytime I question a stringer at a shop, and in every case so far, what they were doing was not something I would consider correct to say the least. Old habits are hard to break and let's just leave it at that.

Audiodude
11-30-2006, 06:54 PM
To have a two second difference between different pulls using a crank mechanism would require something like an epileptic seizure, on the part of the person stringing. It's very easy to develop a rhythm using a crank. I will grant you that an absolutely inexperienced stringer may get more consistent results using a constant pull electronic machine. But, anyone who has a modest amount of experience should be able to produce consistent results using a well designed crank, dropweight, or electronic machine. This really isn't as difficult or complicated as some of you are making it out to be.

jj300
11-30-2006, 07:08 PM
maybe you guys are some kind of gods, but the pro shop owners around here that have been stringing for 20+ years are nowhere as consistent as you'd think. the two second difference is giving because the guy can make one pull at 3 seconds instead of 4 and one at 5 instead of 4. 1 second diff is not a huge difference for 99% of people so its very duable to do 3 seconds on string #1 and 5 seconds on string #2.

barry
12-01-2006, 01:53 AM
Personally, I found the article http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200609/200609stringselector.html well written and details what you can expect from a particular string. It does not matter what style stringer (crank, drop weight, or electronic) you strung on; the article is telling you what to expect from a string.

Weather you own an Aria, Klippermate, or a Sensor once tension is achieved on the tensioner and clamped off, game is over that is all you get. John makes a valid point; way too much attention is placed on “constant pull”. 60 pounds is 60 pounds no matter what tensioner you use. Once the tensioner achieves the 60 pound tension, it should stop and not exceed 60 pounds. Properly calibrated, both should achieve the desired tension. Myself, I have owned 2 drop weight machines, 1 Wise unit, and the latest a crank machine. Overall all of the machines have produced a consistent string job. My biggest bang for the buck was upgrading to fixed clamps. Tension wise, I don’t see any difference between any of them, and the most important fact, no customer complaints. Two features I will always have is fixed clamps, 360 rotations, and it must be reliable, otherwise I have no preference.

Forgot to mention John’s shop also has a Sensor, he says the benefit of the sensor is ease of use, more features, and his part time help can string tons of rackets consistently.

Mr. Blond
12-01-2006, 02:58 AM
guys I think the bottom line is simple, consitant technique produces good string jobs. The difference in machine basically is a measure of what the stringer prefers. The conviniene of electric CP is worth the money to me to not have to fight with leveling a true constant pull droppie. At the end of the day though, If I use either machine I will do a consistant job because I am cautious about my technique.

Kevo
12-01-2006, 11:51 AM
I think consistency is key. If you string your own frames, you can be as consistent as you want with your own frames and get the results you want. However there is a noticeable, measurable difference between CP and LO. It's pretty easy to see how that would happen. There have been lots of articles on it. How much difference it actually makes is kind of a personal preference. You will end up liking some tension on some machine with some string. The important thing to me is that I can get that same thing the next time.

JetFlyr
12-02-2006, 09:35 AM
Thinking about what was written regarding clamps being a lockout device....

With a CP machine, when the string is under tension on the next pull, when you release a fixed clamp and move it to the new position, the machine keeps pulling to adjust for tiny variances in tension (clamp creep, etc.).

I know when I'm using the WISE, it seems like every time I touch a clamp (even if it's the second clamp back and not the first) I can hear the machine compensate.

I agree that the most important thing in stringing is consistency. To that end, I want a machine that adjusts dynamically to help remove variables such as timing variances between clamps (because I sneeze, or the clamp sticks as I slide it down the track, or whatever), slight differences in positioning of the teeth on the clamps, changes in my grip pressure when I squeeze the clamp, etc.

Plus, I like gadgets!

Barry, why so much thought into this issue of late? Are you wanting your WISE back? ;)

barry
12-02-2006, 02:11 PM
Thinking about what was written regarding clamps being a lockout device....

With a CP machine, when the string is under tension on the next pull, when you release a fixed clamp and move it to the new position, the machine keeps pulling to adjust for tiny variances in tension (clamp creep, etc.).

I know when I'm using the WISE, it seems like every time I touch a clamp (even if it's the second clamp back and not the first) I can hear the machine compensate.

I agree that the most important thing in stringing is consistency. To that end, I want a machine that adjusts dynamically to help remove variables such as timing variances between clamps (because I sneeze, or the clamp sticks as I slide it down the track, or whatever), slight differences in positioning of the teeth on the clamps, changes in my grip pressure when I squeeze the clamp, etc.

Plus, I like gadgets!

Barry, why so much thought into this issue of late? Are you wanting your WISE back? ;)

Thought maybe you were getting tired of rolling your machine out by the pool and having to run that long extension cord and ready to unload it.

Really, just hanging around the pro shop one day talking equipment and the constant pull discussion came up. Lots of opinions. I am like you if I remember right, when I released the clamp, the Wise did activate, something the crank does not do.

Richie Rich
12-02-2006, 03:13 PM
My biggest bang for the buck was upgrading to fixed clamps.

ding, ding, ding. give the man a cigar. fixed clamps are far superior to floating in terms of maintaining tension when the string is clamped. i've used drop weights for years and noticed a huge improvement in tension accuracy when i used the machine with fixed clamps