Anyone use or seen the new Alpha Ghost stringing machine?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by kdurham, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. kdurham

    kdurham New User

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    #1
  2. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I like the order page where it states "How many?". I think a round half-dozen would do! ;)
    Heck, if you're dying to know about this thing AND they have one 'on the floor', I could drop by there tomorrow and have a gander. I don't know that they would just put one together for display...their 'storefront' is pretty limited space-wise.
     
    #2
  3. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Saw it at the GSS symposium the other day. Nice machine. Automatic table brake (locks during tensioning) and Prince like dual action gravity release clamps.
     
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  4. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    I spoke with Mark not too long ago and he said he often strings on the Ghost, so it seems as though he has one set up. Awesome looking machine, though...which gives me an idea for a Christmas present (for myself!)
     
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  5. schap02

    schap02 Semi-Pro

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    Machine looks nice, price isn't terrible, looks like they copied some features from various machines, Prince/Babolat ect....

    Interested in quality of construction
     
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  6. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    That could be a good and or bad thing. When stringing if your table wobbles any you do not have your gripper, grommet, and the turntable pivot point lined up in a straight line. If you are stringing a prince with O ports and not pin hole grommets that's a good thing but every prince has a few grommet holes. If you have a normal racket I don't think it is such a good thing. If the brake holds the frame off so there is a greater angle or bend of the string than there should be you have more friction and therefore less tension.

    if I had one of those I would want something so I could disengage the brake. For most rackets you DO NOT NEED OR WANT THE BRAKE so it would be better to have the brake set up so you could engage in manually.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  7. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    It doesn't lock immediately: it pulls for a moment first, then engages. I actually think its a cool feature. I'm guessing it can probably be disengaged, but I don't know for sure.
     
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  8. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Then it would not be good for a Prince O Port racket it would just produce more problems as if stringing Prince rackets don't cause enough problems now.
     
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  9. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    All you would need to do is hold the table until it locked.
     
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  10. kdurham

    kdurham New User

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    Hey in that case it would be pretty handy for the o-ports...
     
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  11. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    amazing machine, strung on it at the 2012 GSS, oit is the best bang for the buck, if you want a baiardo and can not afford one this is the machine to get. Very smooth, and attractive machine. Mark from Alpha is the best.
     
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  12. BoingTennis

    BoingTennis New User

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    Guys, I'm looking to purchase a machine to upgrade my current Victor C-7027 w/ Wise Head.

    I'm currently looking at the Baiardo and Star5 since both has great reviews and great quality.

    When I came across this thread, the Alpha Ghost and Phantom really caught my attention. They look great and seems to have great built quality from looking at the pictures.

    What are the differences between the Ghost and Phantom? The price difference is almost USD1000.
     
    #12
  13. ewberner

    ewberner Rookie

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    The display screen and the glide rails are the main difference. The ghost has straight rails and the phantom has curved rails. The phantom is also easier to calibrate as with the ghost you must unscrew the display screen to access the appropriate places to adjust the tension. Both are great machines and worth considering if you can't afford the Wilson or Babolat.
     
    #13
  14. kdurham

    kdurham New User

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    JUST RECEIVED THE MANUAL. REGARDING THE AUTO BREAK FUNCTION IT READS: "The machine has an AUTOBRAKE feature which will lock the turntable each time tension is pulled on the machine, then release the turntable when tension is released.
    To remove AUTOBRAKE, push and hold the BRAKE button for few seconds,
    In the Manual mode, the turntable can be locked / unlocked each time the BRAKE button is pushed.
    To return to AUTOBRAKE, push and hold the BRAKE button for few seconds."
     
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  15. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I'm just a sissy; but I think I'd manually apply the brake <5%? of the time and leave it in manual mode. Auto-brake would drive me nuts. :)
     
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  16. bigmatt

    bigmatt Rookie

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    I liked the table lock; strung an EXO3 Warrior on it and it helped a lot. The adjustable pulling speed was a great feature at this price point and was nice for polys. Clamps were more than adequate for hold and adjustability.
    The machine is one of the best values I've seen in a long time.
     
    #16
  17. kdurham

    kdurham New User

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    You guys have seen and used this machine. I am very likely to pull the trigger on it Monday or when Mark gets back on Tues. Question is this: Do I understand correctly, that (regarding the table lock) when in Auto mode, it pulls like every other machine and then locks the table about when the table is stable or when tension is reached. Therefore the table is locked, making locking the Switch Action mounts down a one handed operation, as the table is not wobbling (and the tension head is not fighting to keep tension while wobbling)?
    And, if still in Auto mode... Stringing an O-Port, you would start the tensioner while (using left hand or your hip) simply keep the string against the correct side of the port and the table would lock in place while tensioning and unlock after tension is released?
    Thanks for the feedback. When and if I do get this one (because I cannot find a used Star 5 around) I will be able let anyone who is interested in what I think of it, as it compares to a Gamma Progression II ELS w/stand, my current machine.
     
    #17
  18. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Is the Alpha Ghost self-centering like the Gamma 5800/8800's? If not, how to adjust the pillars -- a "bar" underneath, or a hex wrench? It looks like the base clamp locks are the click variety like the 8800, which I really like. It splits the difference in price between the 5800 and 8800, making what was an already difficult decision even tougher. Lastly, how effective is the brake? Ideally, I would like a solid feeling clutch type brake -- maybe the Ghost has newer, better tech?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
    #18
  19. ewberner

    ewberner Rookie

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    It has twist knobs on the bottom of the turntable to adjust the pillars. Very simple to use. And the base clamps click to lock but are gravity released. There is also a push button release on them as well. They were flawlessly. The brake really locks up the table. I like that feature a lot.
     
    #19
  20. WileyCoyote

    WileyCoyote Rookie

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    Equinox Comparison?

    I have an Alpha Equinox, and I really like it. Much better than I deserve.

    If any of you that have seen the Ghost are also familiar with the Equinox, I would appreciate any sort of comparison that you might offer. It seems clear the Ghost clamps are much better and perhaps other features.

    I do not have the original Equinox tensioner, so that comparison is not appropriate, but perhaps other items are.

    Thanks,

    Harry
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
    #20
  21. kdurham

    kdurham New User

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    Bought it.

    OK, I pulled the trigger on this machine and have had it for a few days now. The wife has not pulled the trigger on me, yet, so everything is good there too.
    So far I am absolutely in love. I don't even smoke and yet, I want to light one up after every racquet I have strung so far, if you get my drift :wink:.
    I will post some pictures, but the one on there web site (see orig post) is good if you just zoom on in. It was packaged just fine so posting pictures of me unpacking is not going to happen.
    I also will give some of my thoughts about the machine after I have had it a bit longer. But so far I can say that it gets two thumbs up :mrgreen:.
    I do not need to wait any longer about all my questions that I had regarding the auto brake function. Love it too. I leave it on all the time as a mater of fact. You hit the tensioner, the racquet lines up as usual if you were not lined up (who is?) perfectly, and a half second later the table is just solid still. No bouncing back and forth just BAM, straight and solid.
    How does it do with the O-Ports? let you know later, but so far fine and dandy.
    More to come. Does anyone else have one yet and want to give some input?
     
    #21
  22. ewberner

    ewberner Rookie

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    Awesome! Can't wait to see the pictures and more of what you think about it.
     
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  23. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    nice! looks like a really nice machine. i would definitely consider a ghost when the time comes to replace my sensor.
     
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  24. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Congratulations on your new machine -- and on the wife not pulling the trigger. :)

    Based on my memory, those clamp bases look very similar in style to the ones Yonex uses. And those are beyond superb -- on a $6,000+ machine. I do not believe there is any machine at this price point that features click-lock bases, let alone ones of this apparent level of quality.
     
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  25. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Nice! Yeah, I think I'm going to have to seriously consider this machine as birthday present to myself in the near future. I certainly don't need it...but I definitely WANT it!
     
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  26. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i don't "need" a sensor, but i don't regret getting it one minute. it makes all my previous stringing machines seem positively primitive in comparison! :mrgreen:

    so my advice to you? GET ONE! GET ONE! GET ONE! :cool:
     
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  27. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Are you still alive? Did the wife pop you when you were least expecting? Inquiring minds need to know more about your new machine now that you have lived with it for a while. :)
     
    #27
  28. bigmalik76

    bigmalik76 Rookie

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    Any pictures yet???
     
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  29. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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  30. bigmalik76

    bigmalik76 Rookie

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  31. jdog

    jdog New User

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    Any new info or pics?
     
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  32. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    He thought he was OK, but his wife actually offed him. Foolish man.
     
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  33. abeldm

    abeldm New User

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    I also own one of the Ghost ... I am the head stringer at our private tennis club here in AL. I string on a Babolat Sensor at the club, but I bring many frames home to string on my Alpha. I actually prefer stringing on the Ghost. It is a fantastic machine! Clamps and tension head are excellent.. The auto/Manual brake also does work well for the Prince ports. I tend to leave my machine in manual brake only switching it to auto when stringing the ports. Very well made, and Mark and the folks at Alpha are extremely helpful. This is a really solid stringer. Would for sure reccomend to someone who is stringing a great deal.
     
    #33
  34. abeldm

    abeldm New User

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    I will post some pics from mine at home later today for anyone still looking for pics!
     
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  35. kdurham

    kdurham New User

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    UPDATE Still alive! So far that is...Ghost Stringing Machine

    Ok, ok… A little out of breath here, but I don’t think she is close by. Sorry I have not written about the Alpha Ghost, but I had to make a hasty escape after my wife found out about the purchase, a few months after I purchased it. I suspect she got to the Amex bill before I intercepted it. Dang that woman!
    My wounds have healed for the most part, and my memory of the machine seems to be coming back. I think it was the Arsenic poisoning. I wondered why she was so happy to start cooking for me again so suddenly.
    This baby is great! It runs as smooth as a babies butt. The clamps are secure and maneuver and attach very securely. The clamps are solid and do not change, even without the indents you feel with a Gamma. The head runs smooth and solid also. I have had excellent, predictable and consistent results with each job, verifying each with an ERT 300 Tennis computer.
    The frame supports always seem to be out of the way and secure the racquet perfectly. But, I have had a little adjustment time trying to figure them out, as I had difficulty loosening them afterwards. I found that it is a matter of adjusting he head/throat somewhat gently, then the frame, back and forth during the mounting. This seems to distort the frame less, and allows the mounting arms to loosen right up afterwards. Maybe my imagination, but hey, it works for me.
    Adjustments for three types of string material: Normal, Poly and Kryptonite. And the three speeds work great. Only problem that I have encountered is when I hit the tension bar and I have not set the string in correctly, or if I bump it before I am really ready. It pulls a few inches and errors. Now this is very, very rare and I was told that this may happen if I got sloppy (yea right.. me? I think it’s the Vodka). So, with my Gamma, there was a little save your butt button that simply reversed the head gently back. This machine just stops. So, turning it off and on does not reset it back. It stays put. The only release I have found is to push the linear clamps on the head backwards releasing the string. Again, very rare, but makes me cringe every time.
    Oh yea, the elusive auto table break thingy. I still leave it on all the time. On the O-ports is really depends on the tension that I am pulling. I find that it holds just fine on tensions lower that 54lbs. and higher than that, I need to help it hold by using my hip until I can clamp the string down. So, it’s still helpful at higher tensions also.
    Got-to-run, don’t expect any more replies. Really, I am serious… By the way, it’s heavy.
     
    #35
  36. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    kdurham,

    What are the max & min tensions the machine can pull?
     
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  37. sequoia

    sequoia New User

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    Alpha Ghost Stringer - looking for a review in 2014

    considering purchasing the Ghost - cant find a review that is current ... is there a better machine to consder close to the price range...
     
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