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View Full Version : help on ball machine.


llamalordoftennis
04-06-2006, 02:23 AM
Whats the cheapest ball machine there is out there that has a decent ball speed? Everything ive seen is like a thousand dollars or something

Court_Jester
04-06-2006, 02:03 PM
Well, there's Lobster 201 which has random oscillation and top speed of 60 mph for about $550. The downside is that is AC powered only and spin control is an optional feature. I myself have ordered a battery-powered Tennis Tutor ProLite with random oscillation and smart charger for $740, which will arrive on Monday.

Any machine with a top speed of 85 mph or faster won't be of much use unless it's got some spin control built into it and having such combination can push the price well past the $1000-mark.

Bolivian10s
04-06-2006, 02:31 PM
Sports Tutor sells a new demo with oscillation for $600.00 plus ship, great machine, super durable and reliable and great price!!

wfudeac
04-07-2006, 07:05 AM
Great question, I was going to ask the same thing myself. My local dealer is willing to save me some money, I think he was going to offer the battery ProLite with oscillation for like 600. Is it even worth going to the websites for Lobster, Wilson, Silent Partner, etc to find a better deal?

Jester, where did you buy your ProLite? What is its top speed?

wfudeac
04-07-2006, 07:08 AM
Also, can you used regular used tennis balls (I know you're not supposed to use new because of the fuzz) or do you have to buy special pressureless tennis balls or something like that?

Court_Jester
04-07-2006, 11:51 AM
Great question, I was going to ask the same thing myself. My local dealer is willing to save me some money, I think he was going to offer the battery ProLite with oscillation for like 600.
That's pretty much what Sports Tutor is offering for a demo model plus shipping ($40, IIRC).

Is it even worth going to the websites for Lobster, Wilson, Silent Partner, etc to find a better deal?
Wilson is also made by Sports Tutor. The only other machine that I seriously considered was the Silent Partner Ultra Lite. However, when I learned that the SP model doesn't have any oscillation feature or any means of adding one later, I decided to go for the Tennis Tutor. I'm not too keen on the pneumatic propulsion system used by Lobster.

All of them are good but the one deciding factor for me is the amount of very positive feedbacks about the TT machines and their excellent after-purchase customer service.

Jester, where did you buy your ProLite? What is its top speed?
I bought mine from The Brown Box (http://www.shopbrownbox.com/catalog/buy/Tennis_Ball_Machine/), which is owned by Mercantilla. They're offering free shipping on several TT machine as well as other brands. The top speed on the ProLite is 60 mph, BTW. There are other TT machines that offer 85 mph but they cost at least $950.

Court_Jester
04-07-2006, 12:02 PM
Also, can you used regular used tennis balls (I know you're not supposed to use new because of the fuzz) or do you have to buy special pressureless tennis balls or something like that?
You can use regular pressurized tennis balls but I think manufacturers recommend that you use the pressureless ones. It may have something to do with the rotating wheels not being able to grab onto the dead pressurized balls as well but I'm just guessing here. Pressureless balls are not terribly expensive anyway ($7 for a dozen of Wilsons at Wal-Mart) and they last practically forever. The downside to them is that they are noticeably heavier than the regular ones and sometimes they feel like you're hitting rocks. :-|

wfudeac
04-07-2006, 07:49 PM
excellent advice, thanks! I already have some pressurless Gammas at home but I absolutely hate hitting with them because they do feel like I'm hitting rocks.

Can't wait to get my ProLite, I feel like it will really help groove my strokes, as well as practice some much-needed overheads and lobs!

pmata814
04-08-2006, 06:45 AM
I have a Wilson portable which has a top speed of 75 mph but i've never used it at more than half that. My machine can add spin to the ball, which you have to do in order to keep the ball in the court if you start adding speed. I think 60 mph is more than you'll ever need.

As far as pressureless balls are concerned I would recommend you stay away from them. When I first started using my machine I was using pressureless and they were very hard on my arm not to mention my strings. I switched to regular pressurized balls and they work just fine. When balls start going dead I just change them out.

Chit n China
08-08-2006, 03:56 AM
....I myself have ordered a battery-powered Tennis Tutor ProLite with random oscillation and smart charger for $740, which will arrive on Monday.

Any machine with a top speed of 85 mph or faster won't be of much use unless it's got some spin control built into it and having such combination can push the price well past the $1000-mark.

Court Jester, I haven't found any reviews of the Prolite, but I see you own one. So can I ask you (and any other prolite owners) a few questions? How has it been for you these past months? Does it shoot balls hard enough for both baseline work and volley work? Is it good enough though it doesn't have the spin option? Are you still challenged by it? Thanks, Derek

Court_Jester
08-08-2006, 08:41 AM
How has it been for you these past months?
Except for a cover's broken tab due to a well-placed shot, it works as well as it did the first day it got here.

Does it shoot balls hard enough for both baseline work and volley work?
The ball speed dial is at #5 (1-10) to simulate the speed of the shots made by most of my opponents. Even at that low speed, the balls land midway between the service box and the baseline everytime. Crank up the speed and I may have to put the machine against the fence.

Is it good enough though it doesn't have the spin option?
For my purpose, yes. That's why I chose the ProLite in the first place. While I prefer to have the spin option, the ground imparts some spin on the balls after bouncing anyway.

Are you still challenged by it? Thanks, Derek
Right now, I'm more interested in grooving my strokes and improving my mechanics. I haven't used the oscillation feature yet.

If you want a machine that will challenge you via sideways oscillations, depth variation and spin variety, then the ProLite is not for you. Prepare to spend more than $1K (at least) for those machines.

Chit n China
08-08-2006, 08:06 PM
Right now, I'm more interested in grooving my strokes and improving my mechanics.

Thanks for your input. It's helpful. One other question: how does it do on throwing lobs? Over-heads is the one stroke I really need to work on. Thanks, Derek

billyboybeacon
08-10-2006, 07:04 PM
for pressureless buy the tretorn micro x..I bought a 90 pack and they feel just like normal balls but don't bounce quit as high..