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View Full Version : Which Alpha do I need?


tcaptain
12-07-2006, 11:22 AM
I have been researching this site all week trying to find info on stringers. I have a fifteen year old son who is interested in stringing his own racquets (2 a month) and a few on the side for some extra spending money. I have come to the conclusion that I want fixed clamps and a 6pt mounting system. I can't seem to figure out if I need a dropweight or a crank. I am considering the Alpha Pioneer DC, out of the box pictures were nice, or the Alpha Revo 4000. I know that we are talking about approximately $150 difference. How much extra am I going to spend on accessories? Remember that a fifteen year old can be lazy. He is very passonate about tennis though. Also, if I go with the Alpha, I know that Mark G. is the one to talk to. I am swayed by the customer service that has been so highly spoke of. Thanks so much for you time.

Steve Huff
12-07-2006, 11:29 AM
I'd go with the crank. Kids are impatient (in my opinion) and the crank would be faster and easier to learn on. Plus, I think it would be more consistent.

Redflea
12-07-2006, 12:34 PM
I've just gotten the Pioneer DC Plus, and taught my sons... (13 and 15).

They don't appear to have any problems using the drop weight...maybe mine as less impatient than normal, Steve. :)

I'd say it's largely an issue of how you want to use your $...I've used a crank at our club and my drop-weight, and found I liked both, and didn't dislike anything about either. You may need to calibrate the crank at some interval...(not sure how often that is).

You shouldn't need to buy any accessories other than maybe a stand, possibly w/wheels on it, to roll the machine around. The Revo is about half again as heavy as the Pioneer (I think high 70's vs 45 or so for the Pioneer) so if you're thinking you'll move it around, the Revo is probably a bit heavy for that. If it's going to sit on a table somewhere all the time, that's not an issue.

The Pioneer DC Plus has the same turntable, clamps, mounting system, string gripper, etc., as the Revo, so the difference pretty much comes down to the crank vs. dropweight, though the Revo also has a turntable lock-out.

Oh, the other thing I've found is that I'm actually spending more on string now that I string for myself and family...having the machine encourages experimentation, which is fun and a good thing. So leave some $ in the budget to play around w/new strings/combos, if your son's into tennis he's going to want to do that. :)

tcaptain
12-07-2006, 01:32 PM
Redflea, it is actually your purchase and wonderful pictures that started my indecisiveness. Let me say that my son doesn't know the difference between the two. Also, I have read that the drop weight requires little to no maintenance and is quite accurate as long as it is sitting level. I read that one reader installed a small bubble level to accomplish this. I understand that the crank has to be calibrated. Another reader wrote that needs to take place after about 30 stringings. My son does play a lot of tournaments and I'm sure if we purchase the drop weight that it will be one more thing to pack up. My vehicle is already his personal locker room! It is my understanding that either machine would pay for itself over time. I guess I'm really afraid that he will want to turn it into more of a business than I can imagine and the drop weight will slow him down. I've read that some stringers can string on a drop weight in 35 to 40 minutes once they have mastered it. I guess that I'm going to have to decide what Santa is going to bring!

tennis&racquetball89
12-07-2006, 04:31 PM
I have been researching this site all week trying to find info on stringers. I have a fifteen year old son who is interested in stringing his own racquets (2 a month) and a few on the side for some extra spending money. I have come to the conclusion that I want fixed clamps and a 6pt mounting system. I can't seem to figure out if I need a dropweight or a crank. I am considering the Alpha Pioneer DC, out of the box pictures were nice, or the Alpha Revo 4000. I know that we are talking about approximately $150 difference. How much extra am I going to spend on accessories? Remember that a fifteen year old can be lazy. He is very passonate about tennis though. Also, if I go with the Alpha, I know that Mark G. is the one to talk to. I am swayed by the customer service that has been so highly spoke of. Thanks so much for you time.

I'd go with the Revo for the extra $. I don't know a whole lot about drop weights but I know that the majority of professional stringer would prefer the crank style tensioner to the drop weight. I actually came close to buying the Revo, but I decided to bump up my price range a bit.

Redflea
12-07-2006, 07:46 PM
Redflea, it is actually your purchase and wonderful pictures that started my indecisiveness. Let me say that my son doesn't know the difference between the two. Also, I have read that the drop weight requires little to no maintenance and is quite accurate as long as it is sitting level. I read that one reader installed a small bubble level to accomplish this. I understand that the crank has to be calibrated. Another reader wrote that needs to take place after about 30 stringings. My son does play a lot of tournaments and I'm sure if we purchase the drop weight that it will be one more thing to pack up. My vehicle is already his personal locker room! It is my understanding that either machine would pay for itself over time. I guess I'm really afraid that he will want to turn it into more of a business than I can imagine and the drop weight will slow him down. I've read that some stringers can string on a drop weight in 35 to 40 minutes once they have mastered it. I guess that I'm going to have to decide what Santa is going to bring!

I apologize for any fence-sitting my pictures may have caused. I had set a budget of $400 for myself and found the mental toughness to stay within my intended limit for once in my life. If not for that I think I'd still be posting messages here saying..."I'm thinking about this, what do you guys think?" ;)

If you think you're going to be hauling it around, that would argue more for the Pioneer in my book, as lugging it around is plenty of work already at "just" 45lbs. I did like the lack of calibration requirement. I have seen posts here that folks w/experience can string really fast on a drop-weight, but I assume they would a little faster w/a crank. If he's going to do a lot of racquets that might make the Revo a better choice. :)

Have fun deciding. Hey - get two, one for home, one for the car! Perfect solution...no need to thank me.

Young Pete
12-07-2006, 11:46 PM
I'd go with the crank. Kids are impatient (in my opinion) and the crank would be faster and easier to learn on. Plus, I think it would be more consistent.

listen to this guy i just strung on a neos today and its too sweet!!!!

tcaptain
12-13-2006, 04:31 AM
I bought the 4000. Mark was helpful, as I expected he would be. It should arrive this weekend. Merry Christmas!

varuscelli
12-14-2006, 06:47 AM
I bought the 4000. Mark was helpful, as I expected he would be. It should arrive this weekend. Merry Christmas!

Based on my limited knowledge, I think you made a nice choice. ;)

From everything that I've seen and read, the Alpha Revo 4000 seems to be a real contender for "best in class" honors in it's price/feature range, especially when you couple that with the great reputation for customer support Alpha has (if ever needed).

My bet is that you and your son are going to be very happy with this machine. (Looks like you've set yourselves up nicely for some Happy Holidays... :) )

Hope you'll report back on it at some point.