PDA

View Full Version : Ball Machines


MUSCBoneDoc11
09-29-2006, 04:50 AM
I've been thinking about getting a tennis ball machine. I do not think my court has a power source so I'll need a battery powered one. Also, I would like a machine that oscillates and can really give me a good workout if I just go out by myself and hit for an hour or two. Portability is also important as I will have to take it out to the court with me every time I use it. I have been looking most closely at the Tennis Tutor Plus. I had a batting tutor from the same company growing up and always liked it. What do you guys think about getting the Plus instead of the tennis tutor? Does the spin function add much more to your practice session? I was thinking that if you are spending $1000, you might as well go ahead and spend an extra $200 or so and have all the functions. I'm looking more at the tennis tutor than the Prolite because I want the increase in speed from 60 to 85. I was thinking that would make this machine more versatile as I improve and also, I still play baseball and often take batting practice with tennis balls so I was planning to put it on a table in the batting cage and have it double as a pitching machine (has anyone tried this?) and the extra MPH will help there. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Are there other machines that fit my needs that people think are superior to the Tennis Tutor? Thanks so much for all the help!

pmata814
09-29-2006, 08:24 AM
If you want to practice at high speeds you need the spin function to keep the ball in the court. I like having the spin function. I wish I had the narrow 2-line though. I only have the wide (wilson ball machine) and it is just too wide. I have to move the ball machine to the service line in order to be able to get to the balls and it just isn't the same as when it is at the baseline. So make sure whatever machine you get has the narrow 2-line option as well.

wfudeac
09-29-2006, 08:56 AM
Quick question, since you have the Wilson portable...When you move the machine to the service line because of the wide 2-line, what settings do you use to keep the balls in the court? I assume you would need to take the speed down and use lots of topspin just to keep the balls in play?

Cruzer
09-29-2006, 09:33 AM
I have a Tennis Tutor 4+ and in addition to ball speed, ball feed frequency, and height control it has the following features.

1. Spin
2. Wide and narrow 2 line
3. Random oscilliation

I didn't get a remote since it was $200.00 extra. I did get the fast charge battery option. Overall I think it is a good quliaty machine and I am pleased with my decision to buy it.

pmata814
09-29-2006, 10:19 AM
Quick question, since you have the Wilson portable...When you move the machine to the service line because of the wide 2-line, what settings do you use to keep the balls in the court? I assume you would need to take the speed down and use lots of topspin just to keep the balls in play?

That's exactly what I have to do. I don't remember the exact settings because they vary every day but I have to bring down the speed a lot and put some spin on it (not a lot because the ball is traveling slow). It still makes you run from side to side but you're hitting balls that bounce slow and then when you go into a match you're caught off guard when your opponent starts banging away with extreme topsin from the baseline. The same thing applies when I try to practice with it on random oscillation. I go ahed and put it on the baseline but there are balls that I just have to let go because they are way out of reach.

I prefer just to set it to a fixed position from the baseline and hit and recover. I've improved my backhand significantly like this.

jluspo
09-29-2006, 11:34 AM
I'm on the fence between the Tennis Tutor + and the SAM SP1. It seems to have an eqivalent set of functions but the SAM has more ball capacity and $300 cheaper!!! Does anyone here have the SAM SP1? I looked at their web site and it seems to be a good machine. I would like to have from someone who actualy have one.

Thanks!

Bolivian10s
09-29-2006, 01:18 PM
The SAM SP1 has a manual elevation, the Tutor has an electronic elevation up/down button plus a very cool LED light indicator

jamauss
09-29-2006, 06:48 PM
I have a SAM SP1 and it's been awesome for me when I go out by myself. It does all the things you really need it to: oscillates, topspin/slice, varying speeds, varying interval, good ball capacity, etc. The manual elevation thing really isn't a big deal to me, it's something I rarely change anyway.

varuscelli
09-29-2006, 09:20 PM
the Tutor has <snip> a very cool LED light indicator

A key component to improving your game. If you don't get a machine with a very cool LED, you're completely hosed. :p

jluspo
09-30-2006, 07:08 AM
I have a SAM SP1 and it's been awesome for me when I go out by myself. It does all the things you really need it to: oscillates, topspin/slice, varying speeds, varying interval, good ball capacity, etc. The manual elevation thing really isn't a big deal to me, it's something I rarely change anyway.

Hey Jamasuss,

How long have you had your SP1? Did you ever go back to the manufacturer for support or repairs? If you did, were they helpfull? Do you think that the cost difference between the SP1 and SP2 (around $180) is not justifiable for you? I think that the main "real" difference is the ability to control the width of the oscillation. Did you ever wish you have this feature?

Sorry for too much question but I'm about to buy one of these machines and would like an impression from someone who owns one.

thanks,
J

MUSCBoneDoc11
09-30-2006, 07:47 AM
Guys-Back to the tennis tutor plus, can someone please explain to me the special options and what you use them for? I can play tennis but I'm totally ignorant on ball machines--from what I understand the 2 line function will throw balls to alternating sides of the court. Is wide and narrow just how far apart or close together those 2 spots are? All the tennis tutor + machines come with spin function and oscillator, right? The oscillator is what I really want so I can "play a game" with myself where it throws different shots. Does this machine also throw the shots short and long (ie-different speeds or trajectories) or does it throw one trajectory and speed and just alternate left to right? I know there is an optional remote and the "player function" (which doesn't seem worth the money to me) but besides those, are there other options? If someone could put into words a little bit of what this machine does it would help me tremendously. Like I said, I'm totally new to them and I didn't play college tennis or anything so I'm not up on the terminology or even all the advantages of different functions. Thanks for helping out a ball machine rookie!

varuscelli
09-30-2006, 09:27 AM
I know there is an optional remote and the "player function" (which doesn't seem worth the money to me)

Hey, MUSCBoneDoc11, sorry for my slip aside on the "cool LED" thing. Couldn't help but take a slight poke at it for criteria by which a ball machine should be judged. ;)

(OK, so what if I, too, want a cool LED?)

And on the Tennis Tutor, I can't help much except to say that from my research and what I've read here, Tennis Tutors do have an awfully large following. They seem like very good machines and probably would have been my first choice but for the fact that the specs I wanted in a Tennis Tutor were beyond my budget.

Personally, I ended up getting a Silent Partner Pro. My biggest reason for going that route was that the SP Pro offered more options for the money spent. If a few hundred dollars more doesn't phase you too badly, I'd probably advise going with one of the higher-level Tennis Tutors (Tennis Tutor 4?).

On the remote (the part I quoted you on, above), I have the remote on my Silent Partner Pro and wouldn't have it any other way. It's just too nice a convenience to go without (from my personal tastes in what I want in a ball machine). I really like the fact that I can pause the machine from across the tennis court (for whatever reason) and momentarily pause the session -- without having to go the other side of the court and doing that manually while the machine continues to fire away. The remote on the SP Pro also lets me start/stop the oscillation feature as well as start/stop the machine's firing (won't stop the machine itself, but will stop it's "action").

On the decision-making process, here are a couple of sites I found helpful.

If you'd like to see one of their machines in action, the Silent Partner site has a couple of videos on their machines (which actually might help you to visualize what ball machines in general can do no matter what brand of machine you choose).

http://www.sptennis.com/ballmachines.asp

Scroll down the page to the second heading (The Silent Partner PRO) and click on the link to the video called "Part 1: The Silent Partner Ball Machine on the Court." Click on that for a 5-minute video. There's also a Part 2 you can view.

There's also another site that compares tennis ball machines might be helpful to you, but might also be a bit overwhelming. Worth a look, though (but I think it also contains a few inaccuracies on some of the machine specs). At the moment, I can't find the link, but I'll locate it and post that in another reply.

varuscelli
09-30-2006, 09:31 AM
There's also another site that compares tennis ball machines might be helpful to you, but might also be a bit overwhelming. Worth a look, though (but I think it also contains a few inaccuracies on some of the machine specs). At the moment, I can't find the link, but I'll locate it and post that in another reply.

Here's that other site I mentioned (2005 Ball Machine Buying Guide)

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200507/200507ball_machine_guide.html

Cruzer
10-01-2006, 05:29 PM
Guys-Back to the tennis tutor plus, can someone please explain to me the special options and what you use them for? I can play tennis but I'm totally ignorant on ball machines--from what I understand the 2 line function will throw balls to alternating sides of the court. Is wide and narrow just how far apart or close together those 2 spots are?

That is correct.

All the tennis tutor + machines come with spin function and oscillator, right? The oscillator is what I really want so I can "play a game" with myself where it throws different shots.

I can't say for sure if all TT+ machines come with spin and oscillation however if you check their website it should answer your question.

Does this machine also throw the shots short and long (ie-different speeds or trajectories) or does it throw one trajectory and speed and just alternate left to right?

The machine does not throw the balls short and long randomly, it just randomly shoots to the left or right.

I know there is an optional remote and the "player function" (which doesn't seem worth the money to me) but besides those, are there other options? If someone could put into words a little bit of what this machine does it would help me tremendously. Like I said, I'm totally new to them and I didn't play college tennis or anything so I'm not up on the terminology or even all the advantages of different functions. Thanks for helping out a ball machine rookie!

What I like the most is that I can hit a lot tennis balls in a fairly short period of time. I can practice footwork and just about evey stroke except serves. The last time I used my machine I was able to hit about 600 balls in about 1 1/2 hours. The 2 line function was important to me since it allows my wife and I to use hit balls at the same time.