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View Full Version : Alpha---For the Record


markgonz
12-27-2006, 08:07 PM
Hello everyone, just a note to share official information from Alpha that we have never had any of our machines or machine parts manufactured by Lily-Lee Co. (Eagnas). There seems to be some misinformation/confusion in regards to this. While appearances may appear the same, they are not the same and they do not come from the same factory. We migrated the bulk of our dropweight/lockout line to our own factory a few years ago. The table on the current Revo 4000 comes from the original Blu-DC (1994), spring-action bases, blue paint were added over time, same as the mounting arms.

If there is ever any question with our machines I would gladly discuss in a private manner through mark @ alphatennis . com. It's easier for me since I check email regularly.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

best regards,

Mark Gonzalez
Alpha Sales Manager
800.922.9024 ext. 104

Voltron
12-27-2006, 08:14 PM
Glad to hear you're not affiliated in any way with Maxline, they are baaaaad people.

varuscelli
12-27-2006, 08:36 PM
Hello, Mark...good to see you here!

Hope you can stick around to answer some of those technical questions about Alpha machines that come up all the time. :)

My personal opinion is that yours would be a welcome presence.

And wishing a Happy New Year to you all at Alpha as well. ;)

And, hey, do you other forum readers out there realize that Mark Gonzales will be one of the presenters on "Equipment Selection" and "Machine Repair and Maintenance" at the GSS Racquet Stringers Symposium in New Braunfels, Texas, April 1-4? (Hope I've got that right.) Looks like a "must see" to me. :)

Hope to see you there, Mark, if I can work it out to be in attendance.

Al Ruscelli

theace21
12-27-2006, 09:09 PM
Thanks Mark for stopping by, your expertise is always welcome...

LttlElvis
12-28-2006, 08:08 AM
Mark,

Thanks for coming on these boards. You would be a great asset answering questions here on an open forum. I think keeping this thread running as information for Alpha machines would be so helpful.

Also thanks for clearing up the Eagnas vs Alpha manufacturing. Looking at both at different times, they seemed so similar. I have never had a chance to see them side by side.

One machine I am interested in is the Apex II. I can't seem to find a whole lot of official info on it reguarding the specs, pricing, availability, etc. Looks like a solid machine, but no where to be found. Can you tell us about the upgrades and differences from the Apex I.

By the way, is your store available for customers to look at the machines in Austin or is it strictly internet sales ? I would love to just see all the machines at one time in person.

http://www.newtechtennis.com/store/

Thanks.

markgonz
12-28-2006, 08:41 AM
I'll certainly do my best to answer but I can certainly assure that I respond much quicker in email or by phone.

The Apex II is our own factory version of the original Apex. The price point is $995 and coupled with a Wise head, can make a nice combo. The big issue we have is delivery at this point. We are out of stock until the end of January. All characteristics are similar, with a couple of cosmetic changes.

You most certainly can come by, please call or email and we can setup a time. We have some space constraints so not all machines may be up.

Ben42
12-28-2006, 08:55 AM
Thanks for posting this.

You'd be surprised at the number of people around here who believe that all stringing machines are assembled from parts made in the same (interchangeable) factories and then are simply "badged and marketed" by the manufacturers.

Thanks for dispelling that myth.

varuscelli
12-28-2006, 09:47 AM
By the way, is your store available for customers to look at the machines in Austin or is it strictly internet sales ? I would love to just see all the machines at one time in person.

You most certainly can come by, please call or email and we can setup a time. We have some space constraints so not all machines may be up.

Maybe LittElvis and I can make a field trip of it. :)

I'll bring a camera and we can take lots of "Alpha tourist" photos including all of our smiling faces in front of those nice Alpha machines, with Mark's arm around our shoulders. (I'll pose behind an Equinox, if one's available.) ;)

Al Ruscelli

barry
12-28-2006, 09:48 AM
Thanks for posting this.

You'd be surprised at the number of people around here who believe that all stringing machines are assembled from parts made in the same (interchangeable) factories and then are simply "badged and marketed" by the manufacturers.

Thanks for dispelling that myth.

Dah! What do you think this means

"The Apex II is our own factory version of the original Apex"

markgonz
12-28-2006, 11:04 AM
OEM does exist in the stringing machine industry. One machine factory can make for several brands/companies. It happens in almost all of the tennis categories: strings, grips, racquets, etc.

Yes, Barry, I guess you can say that we did "clone" ourselves :) But we manufacture these machines ourselves, as stated in my original post. Lily Lee/Eagnas does not make any thing for us. Just to reiterate.

barry
12-28-2006, 02:35 PM
OEM does exist in the stringing machine industry. One machine factory can make for several brands/companies. It happens in almost all of the tennis categories: strings, grips, racquets, etc.

Yes, Barry, I guess you can say that we did "clone" ourselves :) But we manufacture these machines ourselves, as stated in my original post. Lily Lee/Eagnas does not make any thing for us. Just to reiterate.

Mark

The discussion was not about Lilly Lee, Alpha, or any other machine reseller. It was about sub-assemblies like mounting systems, cranks, clamps, etc. being built and sold to different companies produced from the same factory. I am not an expert in the industry, but do see a lot of similarities.

Doing a lot of factory automation projects, it has always been a given to try and exhaust the supply chains before doing the expensive build in house. Alpha must have had a pretty good reason to go back in house. Off topic, looking forward to a test drive of the new Apex!

rich s
12-28-2006, 04:15 PM
.......Doing a lot of factory automation projects, it has always been a given to try and exhaust the supply chains before doing the all expensive build in house. Alpha must have had a pretty good reason to go back in house......

If I had to take a guess at it I would say they (Alpha) pulled it back in-house to control quality better......again, just a guess...... but my experience with outsourcing says if you don't stay on your supplier like a hawk you get cr@p.

my $.02

rich

Redflea
12-28-2006, 06:18 PM
Lots of reasons why a company might want to go in-house:

- Quality variability w/vendors
- Supply variability w/vendors
- Price variability w/vendors
- You are trying to differentiate yourself and what you want isn't available on spec/OEM at a reasonable price
- Overall make/buy calcs show better ROI long-term from make
- They're a control freak :-)

boxingguy
12-28-2006, 06:26 PM
Mark! I like you! Do you like me?

Gee, I really wish you had that machine in stock when I inquired about it. Then I wouldn't have had my Eagnas hassle.

But I've always remembered and appreciated your pleasant correspondence. You'll be hearing from me next time I upgrade.

Mike Cottrill
12-28-2006, 07:17 PM
The best after sale service out there. Happy Holidays Mark.

Young Pete
12-28-2006, 08:21 PM
Hello everyone, just a note to share official information from Alpha that we have never had any of our machines or machine parts manufactured by Lily-Lee Co. (Eagnas). There seems to be some misinformation/confusion in regards to this. While appearances may appear the same, they are not the same and they do not come from the same factory. We migrated the bulk of our dropweight/lockout line to our own factory a few years ago. The table on the current Revo 4000 comes from the original Blu-DC (1994), spring-action bases, blue paint were added over time, same as the mounting arms.

If there is ever any question with our machines I would gladly discuss in a private manner through mark @ alphatennis . com. It's easier for me since I check email regularly.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

best regards,

Mark Gonzalez
Alpha Sales Manager
800.922.9024 ext. 104

not completely true. i have a pioneer 3 before and it says on the back of the base a sticker that says lily lee and co. so i guess the very early alpha pioneer stringers / gamma 600 fc machines are in fact made by lily lee and co. i just want to tell the truth man.

LttlElvis
12-29-2006, 01:32 AM
not completely true. i have a pioneer 3 before and it says on the back of the base a sticker that says lily lee and co. so i guess the very early alpha pioneer stringers / gamma 600 fc machines are in fact made by lily lee and co. i just want to tell the truth man.


Interesting, Young Pete. Care to post a picture ?

markgonz
12-29-2006, 04:57 AM
not completely true. i have a pioneer 3 before and it says on the back of the base a sticker that says lily lee and co. so i guess the very early alpha pioneer stringers / gamma 600 fc machines are in fact made by lily lee and co. i just want to tell the truth man.

I've been with Alpha since 1993, so unless this was done before that time, these were Poreex models. I'll check into this. But I can tell you since '93 there has been no association between the two. Did you buy your Pioneer from us or second hand? Thanks Pete.

me is bored
12-29-2006, 08:37 AM
hey mark its Michael =]

varuscelli
12-29-2006, 09:32 AM
not completely true. i have a pioneer 3 before and it says on the back of the base a sticker that says lily lee and co. so i guess the very early alpha pioneer stringers / gamma 600 fc machines are in fact made by lily lee and co. i just want to tell the truth man.

As a suggestion, it would probably be helpful to give the readers an idea of how old the machine is (for clarity in the thread). I can't tell from your statement if you still "have" that machine or if you meant to say that you owned it at some previous time ("before"). You first sentence wasn't clear enough in that respect (can't tell if you "own" or "owned" it.) But if it's an older machine, that would probably explain a lot. ;)

SteveI
12-29-2006, 12:20 PM
The best after sale service out there. Happy Holidays Mark.

Hey,

Yes sir.. they are excellent!

Steve.. (Alpha Pioneer III)

T.J. Planas
01-02-2007, 08:38 PM
Young Pete.....Just out of curiosity, does the machine you have say "Lilly Lee" or just "Lee & Co."? I have an early 1990s Pioneer and it doesn't say either way, just made in Taiwan.

-T.J.

Young Pete
01-02-2007, 10:57 PM
it says lily lee and co. and it was made in dec 1994

eunjam
01-02-2007, 11:02 PM
looks like there needs to be some clarification.

Mike Cottrill
01-03-2007, 07:27 AM
it says lily lee and co. and it was made in dec 1994
Do you have the SN? If so, I would think Alpha could look it up ;)


edit 1-03-06: I believe Mark is referring to:
Lee, Min-Wei; Poreex Industrial Co., Ltd. (TW)

markgonz
01-03-2007, 11:29 AM
Young Pete, if you can email me or post a picture, I'll check it out and run it through Poreex. Our stickers said "Made In Taiwan EX No. ********" I've checked with my VP who just came back from Taiwan and who has been here longer than me, he said no manufacturing relationship ever existed. S. Lee manufactured these machines and his brother runs Poreex. The Lee brothers are not affiliated with Lily-Lee, just a common name.

eunjam
01-03-2007, 11:54 AM
let's get this cleared up.

this is juicy.

varuscelli
01-03-2007, 12:24 PM
let's get this cleared up.

this is juicy.

Yes, juicy (I guess). :confused:

But just maybe something people are making a bigger deal of than is necessary. Um...agree or disagree? I really want to know...

barry
01-03-2007, 03:56 PM
Not even worthy of disscussion.

markgonz
01-03-2007, 05:12 PM
Sorry Barry, the same suppliers are NOT providing the same parts as you mentioned "mounting systems, cranks, clamps, etc". There is a remote possibility that keypads and pc boards could but that would be the extent of it.

So I can agree to disagree and will leave it at that. Those that are interested can email me for further information on this topic. This is my last post since it's much easier to respond to emails. Thanks.

matchpoints
01-05-2007, 12:01 AM
I knew you'd eventually join. Hey this is my first post in FOREVER! Mark I'll be calling ya soon. Btw, snowboarding is so fun. Just a warning to people wanting to visit Mark at Alpha. There are kites everywhere so don't think that u're at the wrong shop when u pull in :)

Young Pete
01-23-2007, 03:05 PM
mark, i've bought and sold alpha pioneer 3's before and i can't remember if it was the gamma 600fc (same as pioneer 3) but on either one of these they had a sticker that says lily lee and co. but regardless, who really cares this waz made in the early 90's and the build quality (regardless if lily lee was contracted to build it from gamma and alpha) is bar none. its essentially build like a tank. so lets forget about that sticker i know i am satisfied with my alpha pioneer 3 and thats what matters. excuse my previous comments.

K. Wilson Moose
01-23-2007, 03:55 PM
Just saw this thread. Haven't been on the boards too much in the last year. Anyway, I bought an Alpha Axis Pro from Mark in 2006 and couldn't be happier. As has been stated many times before, Alpha and especially Mark, are top notch!

varuscelli
01-23-2007, 04:06 PM
mark, i've bought and sold alpha pioneer 3's before and i can't remember if it was the gamma 600fc (same as pioneer 3) but on either one of these they had a sticker that says lily lee and co. but regardless, who really cares this waz made in the early 90's and the build quality (regardless if lily lee was contracted to build it from gamma and alpha) is bar none. its essentially build like a tank. so lets forget about that sticker i know i am satisfied with my alpha pioneer 3 and thats what matters. excuse my previous comments.

Well said, Young Pete. I think you've broken it down to the core of what really counts. ;)

Borat
01-23-2007, 04:08 PM
why does everyone hate eagnas??

Craig Sheppard
01-23-2007, 04:25 PM
Just saw this thread. Haven't been on the boards too much in the last year. Anyway, I bought an Alpha Axis Pro from Mark in 2006 and couldn't be happier. As has been stated many times before, Alpha and especially Mark, are top notch!

Couldn't agree more on both counts, still very happy w/ my Revo 4000.

Ben42
01-24-2007, 11:34 AM
why does everyone hate eagnas??


Not everyone hates them. Just those of us who have been screwed over by them.

Tim Strawn
04-15-2007, 05:07 PM
The best after sale service out there. Happy Holidays Mark.

For the record I'd like to make a comment or two regarding the person, not the machine. It's quite possible that prior to Mark's coming to Alpha that the machines (or parts of machines) could have been manufactured by any one of the companies mentioned in this thread. IMHO what Alpha does today and how they stand behind their products is what's really important.

What I want to speak to involves the character of the man responding from Alpha, Mr. Gonzalez. I've known this guy for a long time and you'll work very hard to find anyone with the standards and responsible attitude that Mark Gonzalez brings to this industry. Just the fact that he takes the time to come to TW and respond to this thread to clear things up speaks volumes--most mfgr representatives wouldn't bother with it.

There are numerous machines on the market both good and bad and it requires some serious research if you're looking to buy a new machine. What many serious stringers agree upon however, is that whatever you choose to buy the number one priority to keep in mind is the reputation and track record the company has when it comes to service after the sale. Anything mechanical has the potential to break down and Alpha has an outstanding reputation for standing behind their products after the sale. (note: Alpha = Mark Gonzalez in this case) That's extremely important and the best way to find out just how important this is will come when you've chosen to deal with a less reputable company and you have problems with your machine. If you string for a living your customers could care less about why your machine is not working!

I realize that most of my reply is off topic but I think it's important to understand that the replies from Alpha need to be taken seriously--their reputation is at stake and I know Mark is not going to jeopardize that reputation by making false statements on any forum.

Tim Strawn

Fedfan4life
04-19-2007, 01:19 AM
Thanks Tim......... I'm jumping on the Alpha train as well, just saving up $400 to buy a Pioneer DC or who knows maybe a Revo ;)

bmichaelia
04-19-2007, 07:53 AM
Thanks Tim......... I'm jumping on the Alpha train as well, just saving up $400 to buy a Pioneer DC or who knows maybe a Revo ;)

Love my Alpha Pioneer. You won't be disappointed.

zapvor
04-19-2007, 04:40 PM
i am looking to buy a string machine, and i am a noob but from what i have read so far i think i might get a Alpha!

Voltron
04-19-2007, 04:42 PM
I just bought a Revo 4000 and I'm very pleased with it. So far I've strung five frames. Thanks for making such a great machine. :)

Redflea
04-19-2007, 05:45 PM
Not many people know it, but I have an Alpha Pioneer DC Plus, and I love it. ;)

T.J. Planas
04-19-2007, 06:23 PM
I've had a lot of experience with Alpha machines and I would highly recommend them. You won't regret your purchase. The best part of Alpha is Mark Gonzales. He will help you with any problem you have.

-T.J. Planas

JayCeeParis
04-21-2007, 12:05 AM
For the record I'd like to make a comment or two regarding the person, not the machine. . . .

I realize that most of my reply is off topic but I think it's important to understand that the replies from Alpha need to be taken seriously--their reputation is at stake and I know Mark is not going to jeopardize that reputation by making false statements on any forum.

Tim Strawn

Hi Tim,

To see both you and Mark on this thread is indeed a pleasure.

Seeing the contents of several messages on this thread, your reply is totally pertinent and not at all off topic, quite the contrary.

It is far easier to cast a doubt and listen for echos than to recognize and publicly support the integrity of a person who has revealed his identity and has replied honestly to a couple of "loaded" questions.

As you have pointed out with insistence, and as we all seem to agree with you, your message is probably the essential compliment to Mark's contribution to this excellent forum.

Thanks to both of you, and please drop in from time to time your presence is really appreciated.
John Elliot.

PS. Mark, forums are certainly more time consuming than answering e-mails, but so much more interesting and so much more appreciated by existing (and potential) clients. Please keep in touch, you have found a place here to contribute your knowledge and experiences, and I am certain that once you become familiar with it all, it will become a small but agreeable part of your life.

Steve Huff
04-21-2007, 09:18 PM
I own an Alpha Apex and a Wise tension head. I've had them for almost 3 years, and have strung approx. 2500 rackets on it. The Apex has a great mounting system--a suspension mounting system. After many conversations with Mark, I'm sure that they are moving the manufacturing in-house for quality control reasons. Not that the quality was bad, apparently just not as consistent as they wanted. Mark is a "tennis" guy. If you have questions, he'll answer them truthfully. He won't sell you more than you need, and he'll try to make sure you don't buy less than you need also. He's always been straight with me about their other products too. I get some strings from him, and when I'm looking for certain types of string, he lets me know what fits the bill. If I say "I think I'll get some of x because of such and such" he'll let me know if x won't accomplish that such and such. He really does take customer service serioiusly.

max
04-22-2007, 11:41 AM
I'll chip in: I like the build quality on the Alpha machines I've seen. If I were doing more frames for other people, I'd be looking first to Alpha. I'm impressed mark's here.