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View Full Version : Silent Partner Jazz or Gamma X-ST


rd0707
09-29-2010, 01:23 PM
I am trying to decide between these two machines. The Jazz is much cheaper but they seem to be pretty comparable. Anyone have any experience with either one of these?

struggle
09-29-2010, 02:40 PM
I am trying to decide between these two machines. The Jazz is much cheaper but they seem to be pretty comparable. Anyone have any experience with either one of these?

The jazz has a stand. +1
It also has conelock baseclamps -1
the brake looks subpar (maybe) -1

the x-st has no stand -1
It has swivel clamp bases +2
the new brake looks "tricky", but nice +1

that jazz doesn't even look as nice as my eagnas combo 910 (for much less money), sorry.

but if those are your choices, get the gamma.

dgdawg
10-05-2010, 09:47 AM
I am trying to decide between these two machines. The Jazz is much cheaper but they seem to be pretty comparable. Anyone have any experience with either one of these?

The SP has a better table/mounting system, the Gamma has better clamps/clamp bases.
I owned a SP-DG for years and loved it.
Spring assisted clamp bases and DD clamps can be purchased from SP, after purchase.

mikeler
10-05-2010, 10:23 AM
The X-ST does have a stand, it is just an optional purchase. I bought the stand and put some caster wheels on it so I can move it around the house. I'm going on about 2.5 years with my X-ST and it has always gotten the job done for me. I can't speak for the other machine since I've never used it. Good luck with your purchase.

rd0707
10-05-2010, 11:16 AM
What is the difference between the 2 clamping systems?

SP has Conelock swivel clamp base

Gamma has Quick Action swivel clamp base

struggle
10-05-2010, 11:51 AM
What is the difference between the 2 clamping systems?

SP has Conelock swivel clamp base

Gamma has Quick Action swivel clamp base

they both work fine, the switch action are considered quicker/easier to use.
they are considered to be an upgrade by most and it's usually much cheaper to buy them up front than to upgrade them later.

rd0707
10-05-2010, 12:05 PM
Also what do you mean by the brake looks sub-par or tricky. How can you tell by a picture?

mikeler
10-05-2010, 12:22 PM
The old Gamma brake will not hold the racket from turning if you string Prince rackets with O-ports. The new brake supposedly will.

rd0707
10-05-2010, 12:30 PM
Sorry I am new to stringing. What does the brake do exactly on a machine?

mikeler
10-05-2010, 12:48 PM
Sorry I am new to stringing. What does the brake do exactly on a machine?


It keeps the table top from rotating.

struggle
10-05-2010, 12:53 PM
the brake is nice to have, however not necessary (pending stringing methods) especially on O-ports.

but if you're gonna have one it might as well be one that works. never know when you might want to lock the table down for whatever reason. the SP brake looks like a screw type brake whereas the new gamma brake looks to lock the table in place with some sort of lever or toothed mechanism (don't quote me, i have not seen one up close). seems like the gamma would be a better brake.

maybe gamma tech can chime in with some factual info....??

rd0707
10-05-2010, 12:59 PM
I use prince ozone tour racquets. I don't understand what the o-ports have to do with brake? If the brake stops the table from turning what does this have to do with the o-ports in the racquet?

mikeler
10-05-2010, 01:08 PM
I use prince ozone tour racquets. I don't understand what the o-ports have to do with brake? If the brake stops the table from turning what does this have to do with the o-ports in the racquet?


Ooh, you will want the Gamma then. Without a good brake, the tensioner pulls the string at an awkward angle through the first couple O-port crosses. I had to use my hip as a brake to keep the table from rotating so I could pull the string straight. You'll understand exactly what I mean once you try to pull your first cross string through one of those bad boys assuming you don't use the brake.

struggle
10-05-2010, 01:12 PM
I have a brake although lately i have been using a boomerang, seems better to me (O3 white).

Irvin is an advocate for the 50/50 method of stringing the crosses, essentially stringing them from the middle as you do the mains, not top down like normal.

once you get started, you'll see the need for some method, whichever you choose. it's really not too bad.

i've yet to try the boomerang on my o3 speedport blacks with stringhole grommets, have only used the brake. they might call for me to go to the 50/50 method, not sure yet.

struggle
10-05-2010, 01:17 PM
I use prince ozone tour racquets. I don't understand what the o-ports have to do with brake? If the brake stops the table from turning what does this have to do with the o-ports in the racquet?

the Oports allow the strings to "come together" within the Oport (no seperate string holes to keep them seperated) at certain pulling angles, primarily near the top (and bottom?) of the hoop. you don't want to clamp them off like that, but somehow keep them seperated and running straight, thus the three or so "methods".

you'll figure it out, just be prepared. no big deal after abit of head scratching.

lionel_101
10-05-2010, 01:28 PM
Also what do you mean by the brake looks sub-par or tricky. How can you tell by a picture?

The Jazz has a screw brake and the X-ST has a Gear brake.

A screw brake is one where you tighten the screw or in this case rotate a lever about 180 degrees (open to shut position) and the screw hits the turntable shaft and keeps it from rotating.

A gear brake is one where there is a big gear with many slots under the turntable. You lift up a lever and it locks the turntable in place and you lower the lever to let it rotate again.

Some say that the screw brake doesn't apply enough pressure on the turntable to keep it from rotating around and thus defeats the purpose of being a brake.

The gear brake system is Gamma's new and improved braking method.

I have a Gamma X-2 and it doesn't come with a brake, but just a small set screw that applies pressure to the turntable shaft to make it harder to rotate around. No matter how hard you tighten the set screw, the turntable will still rotate. I modded my X-2 to have a true screw brake, but you do have to tighten down the screw very hard to make it work. How long the screw hole will last from repeated usage is unknown, but it is still working fine for me.

Right after I wrote this, the brake screw stripped out. So no more brake...LOL. The material use to hold the turntable shaft is pretty soft I guess. Looking into a Heli-coil insert that should be stronger and last longer.

struggle
10-05-2010, 01:45 PM
i'd buy my eagnas combo 910 AGAIN, at $499 before i'd buy that SP Jazz for $650. hell, i'd take my eagnas even if they were the same price.

if you truly want the nicer machine, get the gamma. you can always add the stand or use a utility cart instead if you desire.

really, it's a no brainer if those are your 2 choices.

beernutz
10-05-2010, 02:46 PM
IMO, Gamma makes great products. Silent Partner makes great products. I have purchased from both and I am very happy with everything I've bought from either company. Likewise the customer service for both seems to be great based on my experiences and what I've read on these forums. I think you'd be happy with either machine and I don't think either is clearly head and shoulders above the other. What small differences there are (e.g., clamp bases on the SP and stand for the Gamma) can be rectified after you purchase if you are inclined.

FWIW, I strung racquets for 5 years on a machine which essentially doesn't have a brake (Klippermate) and for another year and a half on a machine that does (Neos) and have never needed to use the brake while stringing.

barry
10-05-2010, 02:46 PM
The SP site no longer lists the Maestro, one of the best crank machines around. Also what happened to the Aria, and DG? Is SP getting out of the stringing machine business?
I would not recommend a table top crank machine, very cumbersome to move and you will probably end up purchasing a stand or table for it anyway. Might as well purchase a machine on a stand, they work better with less obstructions when stringing. Also keep in mind the crank table top machines are higher than the drop weight machines, which means table or stand size is critical.

rich s
10-05-2010, 06:50 PM
The old Gamma brake will not hold the racket from turning if you string Prince rackets with O-ports. The new brake supposedly will.

No supposedly....it works.... My 6004 has the new brake, I did a Prince racquet this weekend with no issues..... :)

struggle
10-05-2010, 07:15 PM
to the OP:

hate to beat a dead horse, but.....

if you want a premium machine get the gamma.

the SP you are considering is chinese "junk", as is my eagnas combo 910, but
my combo 910 is a much better deal (take a look, compare the pics/features).
looks like the same tension head and lesser mounts/clamps for $150 more.

and i'll mention i'm quite happy with it, don't sweat the customer service issue.

really, there is no comparison. if you need the best machine for your money, get the gamma. if you want the best deal for your money, skip that SP and get the better/cheaper/equivalent eagnas instead.

enjoy!!

beernutz
10-06-2010, 09:02 AM
to the OP:

hate to beat a dead horse, but.....

if you want a premium machine get the gamma.

the SP you are considering is chinese "junk", as is my eagnas combo 910, but
my combo 910 is a much better deal (take a look, compare the pics/features).
looks like the same tension head and lesser mounts/clamps for $150 more.

and i'll mention i'm quite happy with it, don't sweat the customer service issue.

really, there is no comparison. if you need the best machine for your money, get the gamma. if you want the best deal for your money, skip that SP and get the better/cheaper/equivalent eagnas instead.

enjoy!!
IMO you are talking out of your *****. I think SP machines are not junk, Chinese or otherwise. I believe Gamma machines are also manufactured in Taiwan; does that make them Chinese junk too?

dgdawg
10-06-2010, 09:10 AM
IMO you are talking out of your *****. I think SP machines are not junk, Chinese or otherwise. I believe Gamma machines are also manufactured in Taiwan; does that make them Chinese junk too?

I have to agree with this statement (although I might word it differently)
I've owned 2 SP's and an Eagnas, and strung on a couple other Eagnas machines.. SP is hands down a better machine. They may both be made in Asia somewhere, but SP cares about there product. Eagnas cares about the sale.
This is a "hands on" comparison.

struggle
10-06-2010, 10:51 AM
yes, i may be speaking out my *****, but when i look at the two machines side by side, i stand by my statement.

the SP looks to be of no better build quality (plus has lesser clamp bases) for more money.

to each his own.

i wouldn't buy that machine for that money.

my .02

carry on.

diredesire
10-06-2010, 11:32 AM
The jazz has a stand. +1
It also has conelock baseclamps -1
the brake looks subpar (maybe) -1

the x-st has no stand -1
It has swivel clamp bases +2
the new brake looks "tricky", but nice +1

that jazz doesn't even look as nice as my eagnas combo 910 (for much less money), sorry.

but if those are your choices, get the gamma.

Uh... how is a "swivel clamp base" a +2? The clamp is no doubt nicer, but the SP machine clamps also... "swivel." You should be more careful about your terminology, you are thinking "switch action," which the gammas are not. The stand is a "+1" depending on user, I personally strongly prefer a stand, but not everyone can justify the added cost (for the X-ST), nor have the spare room (cramped apartment, etc). The "new" brake on the gamma machines is excellent, yes, it's more "discrete" in it's stepping/lockability over an "analog" brake (screw friction type), but it locks easily, it's just a little awkwardly placed (the switch). Great design, i would recommend it, and I could see it holding while tensioning a string in excess of 100 lbs, no sweat.

they both work fine, the switch action are considered quicker/easier to use.
they are considered to be an upgrade by most and it's usually much cheaper to buy them up front than to upgrade them later.
Like I said, don't be misleading, the X-ST doesn't have switch action clamps. Quick action is similar in usage to the cone lock, You still need to crank down on the clamps, albeit much less. (I've owned an e.Stringer FL in the past, and now own a 5800 ELS, and have worked extensively with the ESII+). You'd have to upgrade the X-ST to switch action, as well.

The old Gamma brake will not hold the racket from turning if you string Prince rackets with O-ports. The new brake supposedly will.
Oh, it will. The gear design is very solid.

to the OP:

hate to beat a dead horse, but.....

if you want a premium machine get the gamma.

the SP you are considering is chinese "junk", as is my eagnas combo 910, but
my combo 910 is a much better deal (take a look, compare the pics/features).
looks like the same tension head and lesser mounts/clamps for $150 more.

and i'll mention i'm quite happy with it, don't sweat the customer service issue.

really, there is no comparison. if you need the best machine for your money, get the gamma. if you want the best deal for your money, skip that SP and get the better/cheaper/equivalent eagnas instead.

enjoy!!
No offense, but I have a feeling you have very limited "hands on" experience with different machines. Many people end up buying eagnas because they can't/don't want to justify the added cost of other products. Manufacture location isn't really relevant these days, you can get extremely precise parts from China, but it will cost you. This is the reason you have tiers of pricing (along with overhead from company costs, etc). The Eagnas machines that i've worked on have much lower tolerance parts, and some really... silly design choices, IMHO. there ARE good machines out there, but it's not a rule, it's an exception. You'd be singing a different tune about customer service if you had any real issues that you needed to fix, btw. If you got a machine that you're happy with, good for you. However, many people received faulty parts and/or machines from eagnas, with no CS to back it up. They had to fight to get a return on a brand new product. I can't really recommend that kind of business to a new stringer. Can you imagine the frustration?

yes, i may be speaking out my *****, but when i look at the two machines side by side, i stand by my statement.

the SP looks to be of no better build quality (plus has lesser clamp bases) for more money.

to each his own.

i wouldn't buy that machine for that money.

my .02

carry on.
A) You're not looking at the machines side by side. You're looking at specs side by side. I've seen Eagnas clamps that can't even hold 40 lbs tension due to having PAINTED bases. The SP clamps hold pretty strong, although they don't hold a candle to the Gamma clamps. They DO the job, though, it requires a little more clamping/cranking force, but that's the purpose of the cone lock design, TBH.

There IS merit in comparing features, but a poorly implemented feature becomes a bug in no time. IMHO.


To the OP: I recommend the X-ST for your situation. SP is a fine company, but the added cost is justified, IMHO, if you plan to string for anyone but yourself and you break strings a lot. You'll make the money back in no time (considering saved costs on labor), and it'll hold up much better. The resale value will also be higher if you decide stringing isn't for you. The brake will be worth it alone if you string all Ozones ;)

struggle
10-06-2010, 11:51 AM
DD, in some sense, you are right. I've only used a K-mate, a few ektelon/Neos (older versions), a gamma (don't recall the model #, lockout) and now the eagnas.

i recently got back into tennis/stringing (new eagnas this spring) and had to make the same decision. when i compared and viewed the SP, it looks alot (almost exactly) like the similar mutual titan (which appears almost just like the eagnas'). that is all i am basing this on.
as a frequent tool user, i am fine standing by my statements, BUT by no means am i the guru of machines, specs, tolerances, etc.

'just going by what i consider common sense and yes it has worked out perfectly for me.

and i agree, i'd get the gamma!!

lastly, maybe i had a couple too many beers when i was spouting off.
my bad!!

cheers!

mad dog1
10-06-2010, 12:03 PM
The old Gamma brake will not hold the racket from turning if you string Prince rackets with O-ports. The new brake supposedly will.

i have a gamma 6004 w/ the old screw brake. mine works just fine. the screw brake on the 6004 is a lever that presses a brake pad against the post when you tighten it down. the surface area of the brake pad is quite large and easily holds racquets from turning as long as the pad isn't worn out.

diredesire
10-06-2010, 12:12 PM
DD, in some sense, you are right. I've only used a K-mate, a few ektelon/Neos (older versions), a gamma (don't recall the model #, lockout) and now the eagnas.

i recently got back into tennis/stringing (new eagnas this spring) and had to make the same decision. when i compared and viewed the SP, it looks alot (almost exactly) like the similar mutual titan (which appears almost just like the eagnas'). that is all i am basing this on.
as a frequent tool user, i am fine standing by my statements, BUT by no means am i the guru of machines, specs, tolerances, etc.

'just going by what i consider common sense and yes it has worked out perfectly for me.

and i agree, i'd get the gamma!!

lastly, maybe i had a couple too many beers when i was spouting off.
my bad!!

cheers!

It's not just having used machines, it's really about understanding the real differences and design tradeoffs. Having a cone lock base doesn't make a clamp bad, for instance. I went through the same process when I bought my first machine (the FL). I compared features, etc, and decided that for the price, the FL was going to be my best bet. i wasn't going to fiddle around with an Eagnas if it didn't do what I wanted, and potentially be out a couple hundred bucks. The FL was the "insurance" choice. I couldn't justify the added cost of the STII (at the time), even though it offered some strings/tools. I also wanted the stand for ergonomic/convenience reasons.

I now know that because something "looks" similar, it doesn't mean squat. There are cheap knockoffs of just about everything out there, and looks can be very deceiving in terms of design. Even if the mechanism is duplicated, there can sometimes be a little "secret sauce" that increases holding power that a knock-off/clone might miss. I doubted how much better the Gamma clamps were over the e.Stringer when I purchased the FL, for instance, but once I got a chance to work (extensively) on a NEOS and a Gamma machine, I started to understand the amount of design that went into (relatively) simple components. After my FL, i switched to a Laserfibre MS200TT, and then I had a Gamma 6001 for a little while, and now my 5800 ELS. I've worked on a few other machines, but never more than a month or so.

Like I said, I have no problem(s) if you stand by your claims, it's true that eagnas makes some machines that I wouldn't have any major problems owning, but the biggest consideration is that some people do have problems, and they don't get ANY help! You're one of the lucky ones. You actually got what you paid for, and you got it cheaper than you would have elsewhere, not everyone is that lucky (just run a search!)

mad dog1
10-06-2010, 12:12 PM
I've only used a K-mate, a few ektelon/Neos (older versions), a gamma (don't recall the model #, lockout) and now the eagnas.

tbuggle, i'm surprised you're speaking so highly of the combo 910 if you've used the Ektelon/Neos machines and gammas. IMHO, there's such a large gap in fit, finish and precision when comparing the 910 to the neos 1000 and the gamma 6004. in fact, i feel the gap is more like a CHASM. maybe eagnas has improved the quality and fit of the 910. mine was a couple of years old. i've never tried the SP stringing machines, but after owning 3 eagnas stringers first and then upgrading to a prince neos and a gamma 6004, i can not see myself ever going back to an eagnas. until i got to work w/ the neos and 6004, i would not have known how much better these machines are made.

struggle
10-06-2010, 12:21 PM
tbuggle, i'm surprised you're speaking so highly of the combo 910 if you've used the Ektelon/Neos machines and gammas. IMHO, there's such a large gap in fit, finish and precision when comparing the 910 to the neos 1000 and the gamma 6004. in fact, i feel the gap is more like a CHASM. maybe eagnas has improved the quality and fit of the 910. mine was a couple of years old. i've never tried the SP stringing machines, but after owning 3 eagnas stringers first and then upgrading to a prince neos and a gamma 6004, i can not see myself ever going back to an eagnas. until i got to work w/ the neos and 6004, i wouldn not have know how much better these machines are made.

i only owned the k-mate, the neos and gamma were in a shop (years back).
certainly i don't think the 910 is as nice (fit, finish, etc) but functionally, it works fine (pulls "accurate" tension, clamps/mounts hold fine, table doesn't wobble, etc.). i researched heavily before biting the bullet w/ eagnas and even called victor a couple times before purchasing.

they are not for everyone, to be sure.

and i wouldn't put one in a pro shop, nope, and one day i do hope to own a higher end machine too!

rd0707
10-06-2010, 12:54 PM
here is the info i got from GAMMA directly.

the X-ST is a nut & bolt that squeezes the glide bar when you turn the lever. there is a spring in the handle to help release the lever when you release the base clamp. they are very basic BUT very reliable clamps. there is a 'cone' & spring in our switch action clamps that makes opening and closing a lot easier, but they are a lot more expensive and on our high end machines. they are very reliable also.

diredesire
10-06-2010, 02:25 PM
here is the info i got from GAMMA directly.

the X-ST is a nut & bolt that squeezes the glide bar when you turn the lever. there is a spring in the handle to help release the lever when you release the base clamp. they are very basic BUT very reliable clamps. there is a 'cone' & spring in our switch action clamps that makes opening and closing a lot easier, but they are a lot more expensive and on our high end machines. they are very reliable also.

I've taken apart the X-ST clamps a few times (Gamma Tech on this forum helped with some excellent diagrams, etc, too!). They are a simple mechanism, and the spring really is ONLY to snap the clamp back to open once you release it. There is no spring assist in clamping the base. I'd really like to get my hands on some switch action clamps, and I'll likely purchase a pair when I can justify it (aka when I stop moving around) :)

mikeler
10-07-2010, 06:25 AM
i have a gamma 6004 w/ the old screw brake. mine works just fine. the screw brake on the 6004 is a lever that presses a brake pad against the post when you tighten it down. the surface area of the brake pad is quite large and easily holds racquets from turning as long as the pad isn't worn out.


Mine has that X-wing brake where it's basically the force of a screw against the shaft post to hold it. No matter how much I hand tightened it, the brake would not hold. So I think your brake is different and superior to mine. I don't play with the Prince sticks anymore so I don't really care about the brake.

Gamma Tech
10-07-2010, 10:07 AM
the 5003 & 6004 had different brakes. the 5003 & table tops had the screw that pressed against the TT pin. The 6004 & electronic uprights had the brake pads & knurled collar to provide better braking.
bret

barry
10-08-2010, 04:06 AM
I've taken apart the X-ST clamps a few times (Gamma Tech on this forum helped with some excellent diagrams, etc, too!). They are a simple mechanism, and the spring really is ONLY to snap the clamp back to open once you release it. There is no spring assist in clamping the base. I'd really like to get my hands on some switch action clamps, and I'll likely purchase a pair when I can justify it (aka when I stop moving around) :)

The switch action clamps are decent, but at $229 each you could purchase a complete Combo 910 for $40 more ($499), and it comes with spring assisted clamps. I use both clamps, and both produce a quality string job. Gamma maybe better (would be interesting if better was defined), but Eagnas combo 910 has a much lower price point.

rd0707
10-12-2010, 08:01 AM
For the same price I can get the Jazz upgraded with SP's Posi-Tourque base clamps and the strings clamps upgraded to the 3 tooth diamond dusted clamps as it would cost me for the Gamma X-ST. That being said would most people go with the Jazz then?