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View Full Version : Eagnas or Stringway for a demanding and capable novice stringer


mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 12:42 PM
EDIT 1: (Before getting turned off by my initial ignorant post(s), please keep reading; I'm starting to learn, I promise!)

Or are there any others I should consider? I plan on playing tennis for a long time, and I figure I could make a bit of money stringing, so I decided I would learn to string this summer. Between those brands or any others, what should I consider? Price/performance is big, but so is absolute performance. I am technically very demanding but also consider myself highly able to learn with strong technical skills but no experience in stringing racquets. I don't want too much of a drop in the job I'm getting now and what I will get when I string my own because of the equipment, if that makes sense.

I'm sure you guys get this a lot, but are there any great resources that will help my learn quickly and correctly? I know there's some stuff on Youtube, but is there a channel or playlist or something that's comprehensive and excellent? [EDIT 2: What I mean here is something to the effect of a "How to String" video, a basic start to finish video aimed at someone who has never strung before. From there I should be able to incorporate all the other techniques and info that's out there.] Also, are there any sources for a good place to purchase the machines you suggest?

Thank you in advance, everyone, for taking the time to help me out!

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 12:59 PM
And what about a Gamma Progression II? I'll check out the sticky at the top that I haven't looked at in a while, but if you guys could help me get my bearings and feet wet, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks again.

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 01:26 PM
I guess I should have read the links in the sticky in more depth before posting. Sorry about that; I got anxious. I'm in the process of reading Mansewerz thread. So far, I think I would prefer a CP for consistency, since I don't anticipate needing the speed of a crank. I'll sacrifice speed for a better job. I'd also feel more comfortable with a 4 or 6 point mount, I think.

I'll keep reading through stuff and checking back here. I should have made a better title and more intelligible first post...

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 02:05 PM
So I realize I was kind of an idiot it my first post. I'm still chugging along through the threads.

Am I correct that the only CPs that aren't the fancy electronic ones are drop-weights?

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 02:21 PM
GG Tennis and some others seem to advocate flying clamps, if I'm reading the site and blog posts right. Any insight on the rationale? Fixed are generally more consistent but slower than flying, right?

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 03:58 PM
Okay, so I know this thread has gotten some views, and probably most have been turned away because it's just me babbling (so I may have to start another, better thread), but I do have an update. I'm thinking it may be down to an Alpha DC+ or a Stringway one. The Alpha is drop-weight, with fixed clamps, and a 6 pt mount, right? Does it use a rotational or liner mechanism to tension? Any other major considerations I'm missing?

Brocolt
03-03-2012, 04:17 PM
Stay away from eagnas save up or wait and find one on craigs list. You cant go wrong with a good name. I waited and found a nice alpha revo for 280$.. If you are a perfectionist or type A personality at all get the fixed clamps and 6 point mounting. Stringing is a blast and very easy to learn. The more you do the more percise you will get. Then get the racquet tune app just one more thing to play with.

mad dog1
03-03-2012, 04:19 PM
...I am technically very demanding but also consider myself highly able to learn with strong technical skills but no experience in stringing racquets...

since you have no experience stringing racquets, as a stringer, you are neither demanding nor capable. for someone w/ no stringing experience, i recommend you avoid the G&G site. that's like trying to learn to dive from the highest platform. the best thing you can do is get a machine, practice basic stringing (2 pc & ATW), understand what it really takes to do a consistent string job, then read up on more advanced or alternate techniques. good luck.

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. mad dog1, I think Brocolt used a possibly more appropriate term of "perfectionist." While I don't necessarily consider myself one, I do admit I have very high standards for things. I realize my first post was pretty bad, as I stated in further ones. I am technically skilled in many areas, and I anticipate being able to pick up stringing well. What I want is for my equipment not to be the limiting factor within a short period of time.

mixedmedia
03-03-2012, 04:32 PM
I hope my initial impression is not so bad in this area of the forums as it seems to me... I may start a new thread...

diredesire
03-06-2012, 01:20 PM
EDIT 1: (Before getting turned off by my initial ignorant post(s), please keep reading; I'm starting to learn, I promise!)

Thank you in advance, everyone, for taking the time to help me out!
Just a heads up. Unlike GPPD/Racquets/etc, this forum tends to move a little slower than most. No need to apologize, etc. Just chill, and the good guys always end up coming through.

First of all: These basic question threads pop up from time to time, and I generally don't spend a ton of time responding to them (I'm REALLY busy, it's nothing personal). What I recommend is doing a lot of reading, determining what it is you THINK you want (you've done a pretty good job so far), and then asking specific questions. The posts will be shorter, and much easier to respond to.

Second: Note that whatever you read here is an OPINION. Take everything you read (including my post) with a grain of salt. No one REALLY knows your "style" or your personality, or how you're going to approach stringing, so you need to evaluate advice and recommendations with your best approximation of what fits you.

IMHO just avoid Eagnas. They do have (overall) acceptable/good machines, but you have to be willing to gamble, and their after market customer support is... "lacking" to say the least. You might have a good/great experience with them, and get a major bang for your buck, but I've worked with a few Eagnas machines, and they've ranged from "how did this even get to market... " and "this is very comparable to XYZ brand slightly-more-expensive, but-still-overall-low-end" machine. If you compare to a Stringway, you're really looking at (more or less) apples and oranges, IMHO.

I've worked for years on a "Stringway" (LaserFibre branded) MS200TT. This model didn't have a turn table brake at the time, but had the rest of the bells and whistles. This is likely the "truest" pulling machine I've ever used. The tensioner is excellent, and it pulls well through the mains (when stringing crosses). The mechanics are very solid, but there are some things I don't really love about the machine. Having to pump a weight isn't a big deal, but it's annoying, especially when you have a testy shoulder like I do. This was probably the main reason I ended up getting rid of my SW. The clamps are excellent in quality, the locking mechanism is excellent. There is WAY too much play, and the drawback is significant for a machine of this calibre, IMHO.

IMHO, DO NOT focus on "making money" or home stringing for others until you know what it is you're doing. I strung for a while at a college campus, and there are so many under-qualified hacks out there who charge next to nothing to get clients, and then complain about profits. Take pride in your work, understand what you need to, and THEN start stringing for a fee. IMHO, it's very easy to install strings into a racquet, but it takes a lot more dedication (of time, resources, and effort) than one would think to be a competent "stringer."

Re: Technically demanding, if you're not going to experiment with other stringers and try different machines in the future, you're not going to know where and how your machine is great, and/or how it sucks. IMHO, if I did everything over again, I'd skip the medium/low end range and jump straight for a stand-up, medium high end machine. My budget would start at ~$1000 instead of the <$500. This comes from experience, and it doesn't make sense for everyone (again, take everything with a grain of salt).

The "Price/Performance" is a slippery slope. What do you get from a ~$1K machine that you don't from a ~$200 Klippermate? Both machines have the same basic systems: Mounting, tensioning, clamping. Everything else is a "bell and whistle." Strict Price/performance, you get a very good percentage of a high end machine from a low end portable. Is this what you want? Well....

(Also, I'd like to point out that there are a lot of people that stress that it's the stringer, not the machine that produces consistent, "good" results, blah blah. IMHO, equipment can definitely affect the way a stringer learns, and you might to get to the point of your stringing career that you want to without adding some un-necessary delay with crappy equipment.


Check out YULitle's videos, they're pretty comprehensive. A long time ago, I wanted to do something similar, but he did a good enough job where I'll only be bothered to release a simple/quick video here and there when I feel it would benefit everyone. Highly recommended. Irvin's also a superstar here.

And what about a Gamma Progression II? I'll check out the sticky at the top that I haven't looked at in a while, but if you guys could help me get my bearings and feet wet, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks again.

I guess I should have read the links in the sticky in more depth before posting. Sorry about that; I got anxious. I'm in the process of reading Mansewerz thread. So far, I think I would prefer a CP for consistency, since I don't anticipate needing the speed of a crank. I'll sacrifice speed for a better job. I'd also feel more comfortable with a 4 or 6 point mount, I think.

The sticky is a good primer to determine the feel of the machine you want. It's highly recommended to digest all that information before posting ;)

As far as the above quote, IMHO, you have the priorities wrong. Speed is a POSSIBLE benefit with a crank, but it's extremely marginal in real world terms. You don't really want to be stringing for speed on a crank to begin with unless you have an idea of what you're doing. When you say "CP" you also need to acknowledge the difference between CP (Automatic) Dropweight vs Electric vs Electronic. There are differences that need to be understood before deciding which is more appropriate.

So I realize I was kind of an idiot it my first post. I'm still chugging along through the threads.

Am I correct that the only CPs that aren't the fancy electronic ones are drop-weights?

No, electric motors are pseudo CP IMHO. It depends on how often they poll the tension, and what tolerances there are before it begins a re-pull. Microcontroller/"Electronic" machines are generally much more accurate. This is generally found in the >$1000 category.

GG Tennis and some others seem to advocate flying clamps, if I'm reading the site and blog posts right. Any insight on the rationale? Fixed are generally more consistent but slower than flying, right?
Yes, stick with fixed until you understand why they're being advocated. (I'd also post the link, maybe someone can shine some insight). I'd rarely recommend a flying clamp over a fixed clamp. There ARE excellent specimens when it comes to flying clamps, but I wouldn't replace a fixed clamp with one, in general.

Okay, so I know this thread has gotten some views, and probably most have been turned away because it's just me babbling (so I may have to start another, better thread), but I do have an update. I'm thinking it may be down to an Alpha DC+ or a Stringway one. The Alpha is drop-weight, with fixed clamps, and a 6 pt mount, right? Does it use a rotational or liner mechanism to tension? Any other major considerations I'm missing?

Quit apologizing! The constant mind changing means you haven't figured out what it is you want. You're doing the right thing here by narrowing it down and asking for clarification/counter points to your thinking. Just be patient, this subforum is slow.

The Alpha DC has a linear GRIPPER, but tension is done via torquing in a rotating manner. (For your intents and purposes, consider this a "linear" tensioner. Considerations you're missing: Why are you looking at these machines? You haven't once stated ANY criteria that you know you must satisfy in a machine. IMHO, this is exactly when you should be waiting and planning, don't rush to buy the machine.

Stay away from eagnas save up or wait and find one on craigs list. You cant go wrong with a good name. I waited and found a nice alpha revo for 280$.. If you are a perfectionist or type A personality at all get the fixed clamps and 6 point mounting. Stringing is a blast and very easy to learn. The more you do the more percise you will get. Then get the racquet tune app just one more thing to play with.

since you have no experience stringing racquets, as a stringer, you are neither demanding nor capable. for someone w/ no stringing experience, i recommend you avoid the G&G site. that's like trying to learn to dive from the highest platform. the best thing you can do is get a machine, practice basic stringing (2 pc & ATW), understand what it really takes to do a consistent string job, then read up on more advanced or alternate techniques. good luck.
Yep, there's a lot to absorb and a lot to want to try right away, but stick with the basics and get there when it's time.

Thanks for the replies, guys. mad dog1, I think Brocolt used a possibly more appropriate term of "perfectionist." While I don't necessarily consider myself one, I do admit I have very high standards for things. I realize my first post was pretty bad, as I stated in further ones. I am technically skilled in many areas, and I anticipate being able to pick up stringing well. What I want is for my equipment not to be the limiting factor within a short period of time.
High standards will help you get better/more adept quickly. It's a good thing. When it comes to machine choice, without any frame of reference, it's hard to say what is "right."

IMO: State clearly your criteria, and we can tell you what else to consider.

mixedmedia
03-06-2012, 05:23 PM
Thank you so very much for your replies here and in the other thread I started. I jumped straight in then kept backing up and revising, so this thread turned out a mess to me, and I felt bad being one of "those guys," but I appreciate your patience and kind words. I can't wait to get stringing! But I know for sure it won't be till late may at the earliest... :-( In the meantime I'll be watching videos and staying active in this sub-forum and trying to immerse myself more.

diredesire
03-06-2012, 06:08 PM
Thank you so very much for your replies here and in the other thread I started. I jumped straight in then kept backing up and revising, so this thread turned out a mess to me, and I felt bad being one of "those guys," but I appreciate your patience and kind words. I can't wait to get stringing! But I know for sure it won't be till late may at the earliest... :-( In the meantime I'll be watching videos and staying active in this sub-forum and trying to immerse myself more.

Won't be until may 'til you can pick up that $250 602FC? If there's ANY risk of that deal evaporating, snatch it up now. You will truly be kicking yourself if you miss out on it. If it's a family friend or something who just isn't using it anymore, that's cool.

I'd recommend starting to browse YULitle's videos in the meanwhile. Look at the basics before diving into ANY non-standard stringing patterns. Look for videos on tying knots (beginners are scared of knots, for whatever reason...), tool primers, how to properly mount a frame (if you're not using "finger light" pressure, you're doing it wrong), and how to clamp strings and tension.

The 3 major systems of any stringing machine are the tensioner, clamps, and mounting. Understand fully how each work on your eventual machine, and you're 80% of the way to getting strings into your frame. Don't try to become an expert overnight on multiple string patterns, because you're going to end up fundamentally misunderstanding some assumptions, etc. Once you're over the initial "omg I'm about to break something" jitters, I recommend really focusing on how everything feels. How does it feel to clamp a string. Is this too firm? Am I damaging it? Is it too loose? Will it slip?

When I mount a frame, is there any wiggle room? What happens when I UNmount the frame? Does it get stuck? is it warping?

How does it feel to tension X string vs Y string? How can I adjust to have less ratchet clicks?

Etc, etc. IMHO, don't go all speed racer, take your time! IMHO, the MOST annoying thing I see in this subforum (previously Strings/Stringing) is someone who comes on here and asks for machine advice (without ANY prior research) and within 2-3 months, they're giving "factual" advice without any frame of reference. I've been stringing for quite a while at this point, and I'm learning new things all the time (even from stringers less experienced/"skilled" than I am). Keep an open mind, and always be willing to challenge your "facts" and your knowledge. Use/abuse the community the way you wish it would be. We've got incredible people posting in this subforum, and bouncing ideas back and forth (provided you understand what it is you're bouncing) benefits most everyone!

(an example: You'll learn early on that higher tension = more control, and lower tension = more power. While this is a "good enough" rule of thumb, check out the thread where Chris (the "vlogman") experiments with tensions as low as 10 lbs. It'll change the way you think once you understand the fundamentals of why/how it really works. With technological advances [such as high speed imaging/video recordings], we're able to see the nitty gritty a lot better than we used to be able to.)

mixedmedia
03-06-2012, 07:07 PM
I'm planning on picking up the machine before then, just to be safe, but the deal is basically as you described (my old coach is selling it to me, a second one he doesn't use anymore because of decreased volume).

I was just about to ask you where to start with the videos. (I have always liked knots in general, by the way.) Could you maybe give the order of a couple links from his and Irvin's videos. Are there any that are like "stringing for dummies" type things--like a start to finish basic stringing, geared at novices? (I have watch some videos of theirs before actually, and felt like I was tossed right in the middle.)

I have checked out that thread and it's pretty cool. Recently I've been thinking a lot about various assumptions of tension.

diredesire
03-07-2012, 10:48 AM
I'm planning on picking up the machine before then, just to be safe, but the deal is basically as you described (my old coach is selling it to me, a second one he doesn't use anymore because of decreased volume).

I was just about to ask you where to start with the videos. (I have always liked knots in general, by the way.) Could you maybe give the order of a couple links from his and Irvin's videos. Are there any that are like "stringing for dummies" type things--like a start to finish basic stringing, geared at novices? (I have watch some videos of theirs before actually, and felt like I was tossed right in the middle.)

I have checked out that thread and it's pretty cool. Recently I've been thinking a lot about various assumptions of tension.
I haven't actually watched most of YuLitle's stuff, as most of it came out well into my stringing career. I'd recommend off the bat, though:

Swivel clamps, use and operation
Rotational gripper - U&O
Starting crosses with a starting clamp
Getting mains started - one piece
How to start your mains, step by step
How to tighten your knots
How to pass string thru blocked grommets
Intro to main skips and cross weaving

Since Irvin frequently posts here, I'll let him answer which you should watch :)

mixedmedia
03-07-2012, 07:09 PM
Okay, thanks for the recommendations.