Alpha Axis Pro, Stringway ML100, or Gamma 5003 6pt.

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by babotennis10, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. babotennis10

    babotennis10 Banned

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    I an looking to purchase one of these 3 machines. Could anybody help me make a decision? Which would be best for an at home stringer who strings only their own racquets and maybe some teammates? I break strings about 6 times a month. Again, which stringer is the "best" in your opinion? And could someone explain the " automatic" dropweight? Manswerez helped but I am still confused.

    Thanks
     
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  2. topanlego

    topanlego Semi-Pro

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    Automatic drop weight means that it will pull the set tension automatically. No adjusting the drop weight to horrizontal required.
     
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  3. Zhou

    Zhou Hall of Fame

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    Personally, I would go with the Alpha Axis Pro because it is cheaper and the quality of Alpha is as good or better than Gamma's. Also the Alpha comes with switch action clamp bases meaning they lock with as little touch as a light switch. The Gamma comes with Quick Action which are just fine but require slightly more work.

    Also Alpha provides top-notch customer service as I received with my Alpha Apex II.
     
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  4. verbouge

    verbouge Rookie

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    As a happy new Stringway ML100 T92 owner, perhaps my opinion is skewed. But what's an opinion if not skewed?

    All 3 machines are undoubtedly of quality construct, and Alpha/Stringway and Gamma are known for service. I can vouch for the service of Alpha, who distribute Stringway machines here in the States. My new machine had a problem, and they were all over it like flys on stink. They made it very easy to remedy the issue. Completely painless.

    The Gamma and Alpha machines are lockout cranks, as you know. You'll get a slightly softer string job with them, and will simply have to compensate with slightly higher tension settings. No big deal, as long as you're consistent.

    The beauty of the Stringway is that it's a true constant-pull, gravity dependent machine. That means that the dropweight keeps moving as long as there is stretch in the string to the tension it is set. You never, ever have to worry about the bar being parallel to the floor. Does that make sense? I have a hard time believing that even high-end electronics are as accurate as Isaac Newton's signature theory. Also it is entirely portable. There is no electricity involved. The T92 clamps are about as easy and slick to use as can be imagined. And hey, it's just down right cool. I mean, who has a stringing machine hand made in Holland?

    Skewed, yes, but passionate and honest. You'll be happy with whatever you decide on. Those are all three good machines. Good luck!

    Dave
     
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  5. verbouge

    verbouge Rookie

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    Oh yes, forgot to mention.....the mounting system. It may take a minute longer to put the racket on the ML100 (or not, if you're super speedy and careful), but it's rock solid once it's on there, as if it's welded to stringer.

    I've used a Gamma Els 6500 at the local club, an it has the typical 6 point system that so many of these machines seem to share. It's adequate, but I have to check every so often while stringing that everything is snug and the racket hasn't worked itself loose anywhere. Perhaps it's user error on my part, but I don't see how. I'm certain when I start a string job on that machine that everything is secure but not insanely tight. Usually, though, I have to re-tighten something down mid-string job.

    In fact, that's a question for any trollers on this thread who are much more experienced than I am (and presumably the OP). Should the mounting system play as much of a role in the decision as the other factors typically discussed? Am I somehow not mounting the rackets incorrectly on the Gamma machine?

    Don't wanna highjack your thread, but I think it may be relevant.

    Good luck again!

    Dave
     
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  6. babotennis10

    babotennis10 Banned

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    I am leaning more towards the Axis Pro. Would any body have pics or a vid of them using it? Thanks guys, input has been really good and useful. Looking to order maybe this week.
     
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  7. Dez

    Dez Rookie

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    +1 on the Srtingway ML 100. Love mine it's a Fantastic Machine, Rock Solid!!
     
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  8. Cfidave

    Cfidave Professional

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    You guys with the ML 100, would you happen to know if the clamps are diamond dusted? Thought I would ask before calling Alpha.
     
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  9. verbouge

    verbouge Rookie

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    First off, by all means call Alpha. You'll get straight shooting from them and, at least from what I experienced, no pressure.

    Second, I don't think the clamps are diamond dusted. They work pretty well, though. The T92's are about as slick as it gets.

    Dave
     
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  10. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    You're right, the clamps are not diamond dusted, and the T92s are good.
     
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  11. rd0707

    rd0707 Rookie

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    Why does it take longer to mount on the ML100?
     
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  12. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    The ML100 has individual screw down mounts so it takes a little bit more time since there are more things to tighten. I normally have to adjust 6 things when mounting a new frame. If doing several of the same frame, it's typically 4 things. The Axis Pro will be similar time IMO since it has separate dials for the mounting arms, but most newer 6 pt systems have a single dial for the two supports on each end of the table. I'm not sure about the 5003. I think it may also have separate knobs for the mounting arms.
     
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  13. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I think if you like the way a crank strings up, then you have made a good choice.
     
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  14. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    you are correct. the 5003 has a separate knob for each mounting arm.
     
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  15. Peppershaker

    Peppershaker Rookie

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    I'm reading a lot of positives on the ML100, and I'm in the market to upgrade. was only considering Gamma models but may reconsider. Just 3 Questions:
    1. How does the turntable stack up to the Gamma if it doesn't have 360 rotation?
    2. If the brake only has 12 positions is this enough for the terrible O's?
    3. I like constant pull, have been using the Gamma X2 for about 2 years, but just can not figure out how the ML100 accomplishes the same thing w/o having to ratchet?
     
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  16. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    IMHO, the Gamma bearing mounted turntable is better than the Stringway non bearing mounted turntable. The Gamma turntable and towers are more rigid (no visible flex when pulling tension) than the Stringway TT and towers (visible flex when pulling tension). However having said that, i think the Stringway TT works just fine because the end result in the string job is very consistent due to the constant pull.

    I can't comment on the brake as I had no need to use it since i don't own any O-port racquets, but the 12 positions seems to be enough.

    the stringway tension head is a dual pivot design that doesn't need a ratchet or locking clutch. having tried a stringway now, i'm a firm believer that CP is really the way to go.

    both stringway and gamma make excellent machines but they have different pros and cons.

    gamma pros:

    • turntable (bearing mounted and no flex)
    • 360 degree rotation
    • towers (no flex)
    • less drawback in the clamps (gamma 6004)

    gamma cons

    • lockout crank (tension loss between the time the tension head locks until the string is clamped)
    • 360 degree rotation - tension head does not pull at the same level as the stringbed

    stringway pros:

    • manual constant pull - this is huge IMO. enables you to pull tension slowly thereby eliminating the possibility of overpulling and overstretching the string.
    • tension head pulls at the same level as the stringbed eliminates tension loss due to pulling at a downward angle

    stringway cons:

    • fixed clamps not as beefy and rigid as the gamma clamps allowing for a little more drawback when releasing tension after string is clamped.
    • j-shaped frame clamps can get in the way of the string clamps as you clamp the final mains and crosses making it more difficult to clamp the string close to the frame.
    • less room to work on tie off knots - minor inconvenience and annoyance
    • without the concorde system, the center mains rub against the frame of the racquet when pulling tension

    i'd recommend getting the wise tension head to install on a gamma machine so you can have CP + a great flex free turntable. this way you get the best of both worlds. but it doesn't seem like the turntable flex affects the string job on a racquet strung on a stringway. the stringbed on racquet i strung up using the SW was pretty much spot on to the set tension of the machine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
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  17. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Well it doesn't rotate 360, which would be nice, but in order to make the string pull more level with the frame, that's a design decision they made. In practice it's not that annoying once you get used to it.

    I also don't see how the table could flex. It's thick cast aluminum. I've never seen mine budge it all. Maybe the earlier versions had some flex?

    Yes, it works fine. I still don't like stringing those O frames though.

    It's just a little bit more ingenious than a typical drop weight. There is a diagram on the Stringway site that explains it.

    [​IMG]
     
    #17
  18. Technatic

    Technatic Semi-Pro

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    360 degrees or maximum accuracy!!

    Hi guys,

    I would like to add some info concerning the importance of the 360 degree rotation:

    There is an important argument for stringing machine designers to put the tension head at the level of the string bed, so that the tensioner pulls the strings straight through the holes:

    There is no friction between the string and the grommet so you do not loose tension!!

    If a string is pulled downwards the vertical component (V) of the force pushes the string into the bottom of the grommet-hole and this causes loss of tension (W).

    [​IMG]

    This loss of tension is especially bad when the unit makes its “constant pull stroke” to compensate for slow elongation of the string. In that case the tensioner can not sense the loss of tension accurately and will wait longer before it will repull.

    So you have to choose between:
    - Having the best maximum constant pull accuracy and not having the 360 degree rotation.
    - Having the easy pull of the central main strings and loosing tension on all the other strings.

    Of course it is not for nothing that higher quality machines have solutions for this:
    - The big Babolats have the self lifting tension head so that they always pull at the level of the stringbed.
    - The Stringway machines pull at the level of the string bed and have the Concorde System to pull the centre mains without friction.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Tecna
     
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  19. Technatic

    Technatic Semi-Pro

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    Why is 360 degrees so important?

    Hi guys,

    Just curious:
    Why do so many stringers find the 360 degrees rotation of the table so important?
     
    #19
  20. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    360 rotations are important because it allows the operator access to swing the racquet 360 degrees without obstruction allowing all sides of the head to be accessible. The mentioned machines all have the old style mounting systems with 6 knobs to turn which also slows you down.
    After a few years of stringing, I find all the features important and would never go to back to any 6 knob system or a machine without 360 rotations. It takes 5 extra minutes to setup and string on the older 6 knob systems. With the 6 knob system limitation, I usually sort all the frames, then string them; if I had the newer mounting system, it would not matter, would use the FIFO method. If I were buying a new machine, I would be looking at the Prince 1500, Alpha Apex II, Eagnas Plus 6500, or the Gamma 6004. Since speed is important for me, I would purchase the 2 point mounting system which leaves the Prince 1500 and Gamma 6004.
    Stringing is not any different than mowing a yard, it is a unit of work, and after you have strung a few hundred frames, you look for the easiest and fastest way to complete the task with a consistent and repeatable result.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
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  21. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    You've never seen my neighbor mow his yard! :)
     
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  22. Technatic

    Technatic Semi-Pro

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    I doubt if people would still choose for a 360 degrees when they would know that the accuracy of the machine goes down. This message from another thread proves obviously that it makes a noticable difference.

    The good thing about inside (direct) support is that the stress in the racquet is lower than with indirect (outside) supports (6 point).
    In contrast with what a lot of stringers think, the outside supports introduce stress in the racquet, that would not be there without the outside supports.
    The reason for this is that the force of the outside support has to be transferred to the position of the main strings.

    Even Babolat admitted once that inside supports are better but there is no way back once you have supplied so many machine with the opposite philosophy.
    .
    A direct system with inside supports is called direct because the supports push the racquet outwards in the position where the mains pull it inwards.

    I would like to call the systems direct and indirect instead of 2 point vs 6 points.

    There are direct systems with 3 (Ektelon), 4 (SP) and 5 (Stringway) supports.
    You never here about problems on inside supports.

    I do not understand that you would like to buy another Lock out.
    Would you not like to step over to stringing on stiffness once?
    Do you measure the SBS after stringing?
     
    #22
  23. Purist

    Purist New User

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    I started stringing rackets in 1987 on an Ektelon (for myself and friends). I can't even count how many rackets I've strung. But after reading some posts by John Elliot early this summer (and followed up by MUCH more research and learning), I realize that putting string in a racket and making a racket play and feel as it should are not the same thing.

    I would NEVER buy a lock-out stringer knowing what I know now, and would surely buy only a Stringway machine if I had some money right now.
     
    #23
  24. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    can you please provide more details? i'm always interested in learning from others' experiences.

    and i do agree with you that the stringway cp tension head is superior to any lock-out tension head.
     
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  25. rd0707

    rd0707 Rookie

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    Does the Stringway ML 100 5 point mounting system considered to be one of the best? If so why is it better than a 6 point say gamma x-st?
     
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  26. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    #26

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