Buying First Stringer - Used. Please help!

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by ChadW, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Newbie here. Thanks for all the great information here.

    Gonna take the dive and get into stringing. Instead of the $180 new Klippermate, or Gamma X2, I'm considering a few used ones for a similar price.

    Which of these would you recommend (listed in the order that I prefer them)? What things should I concerned about buying used?

    Zebest from the 1980s; (I think it's a predecessor of the current Eagnas 700).

    [​IMG]

    Winn Pro II with newer Eagnas tensioner (not sure on age)

    [​IMG]

    Gamma Progression 602 FC (about 10 years old)

    [​IMG]

    Ektelon [Don't know the model or year, but has been recently used to string]

    [​IMG]
     
    #1
  2. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    what happened to my photos?

    I used imgur dot com. I only see the dreaded red X.
     
    #2
  3. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    #3
  4. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Anyone willing to chime in here? I could really use some expertise, as I'm too new and inexperienced to know which is the best route to go.
     
    #4
  5. 1HandedBackhand

    1HandedBackhand New User

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Tipton, Mo
    I personally would go with the Gamma 602 FC.....I like the six point mounting and the fixed clamps. Also I know you can still get parts for it, as for the older machines i'm not so sure. I would stay away from EAGNAS I personally think they sell generic parts that are low quality! Hope this helps.
     
    #5
  6. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Thank you for the response! Do you think the others with crank tensioners aren't much of a step above the Gamma drop weight?
     
    #6
  7. BigGriff

    BigGriff Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    725
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    I would go with the Gamma as well. parts will be easy to find for that. Not much to go wrong with the drop weight. You can get a stand for it and convert it with a Wise Tension Head when you get better at stringing. The resale on the Gamma will be better. Eagnas has bad customer service unless you live in the L.A. area. The other stringers look like they will need some work (busting rust, calibration) parts may not be available.
     
    #7
  8. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    The Gamma is the newest and parts will be easy to get.

    I'd look into the Ektelon is worth looking into also. Its parts would also be easy to find as it is the older version of the Prince NEOS 1000 and aside from the smaller table, it is the same. Clamps are the same, tension head could be interchanged, etc.

    If it were me, these are the questions I'd ask when trying to distinguish between the two. We've eliminated the other two; Eagnas & Zebest.
    1) Are you going to string for others?
    If not, either would work great unless your racquet has a fan pattern. If your racquet has a fan pattern, go with the Gamma. The glide bar vs. other clamping system. If not, go with the Ektelon. It will do a great job and be fast. BTW, there should be a badge under the turn table that says it is a MODEL D or DE.

    2) What's the cost difference?
    If it is significant, go with the cheaper. Both are good machines. The Ektelon is worth $300 easily. Does it have both long glide bars and two clamps? Not necessary but does it have the two shorter (1/2 size) glide bars? The Gamma is roughly $350 new.

    3) Is speed a consideration while stringing? The Ektelon will be faster to string on and to learn to string on.

    Another poster mentioned purchasing a Wise Tension Head. They were made to go on the Ektelon/Prince machines w/o any adapters. They go used for approx. $300 shipped. From what I'm reading here, I'm guessing that you have your option of any of these machines for approx. $200. For a total of $500, you could have an awesome stringer and as good as anyone has.

    If it were me, I'd go with the Ektelon as long as I don't have to string fan pattern racquets and I might get it even if I did. There are many threads about the Model D or DE on here. The only shortcomings of these machines are if they don't have the Model H table upgrade. The picture you included does! I'd also look to see if it has the tension knob upgrade to show the individual tensions counting by 1s and not by 5s. Even so, that wouldn't be the deal breaker for me. The last shortcoming is the shorter tension arm to crank the machine back on but again, there are many threads and even Youtube videos showing how to overcome that slight deficiency.
     
    #8
  9. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,699
    ^^^ Agree with previous poster.

    If those are the machines I think they are, I would snap up that Ektelon (if it is the one on craigslist in Woodstock GA, the guy is only asking $100). The table is upgraded and the tension head works--$100 is a steal. You could have it really tuned and add modern Neos clamps (if needed) for a couple 100 more. Honestly, I have actually thought about buying it myself (I just helped restore a machine in worse shape than that that cost $50 bucks more), but I have enough projects. After that, I would pick the Zebest (it is basically the same as the Eagnas and looks to be in better shape and is only $200 (I could make a decent argument to get it instead of the Ektelon but I know the Ektelon is a tank). My last pick is the Gamma--only because I am not a fan of drop weights (don't get me wrong, they work just fine and the Gamma is a good one, I just prefer non-drop weights). Good luck.
     
    #9
  10. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #10
  11. BigGriff

    BigGriff Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    725
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    ^^Spot on!

    Another thing make sure you really know the condition of the machine you are considering. Communication with the seller is key. If you can't look at the machine in person get as many pics as possible.

    A buddy of mine bought a crank from a seller and the only thing we could salvage was the stand, base and mounting brackets. The rust ruined the actual tensioner.

    I hate when forum members share horror stories when they get duped. There are some quality deals out there. Good luck!!!
     
    #11
  12. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I went and looked at the actual posting. That might just be a Model H. The clamps look newer and the arm might be longer.

    I wish I lived in the Atlanta area! There appears to be really good tennis there and deals like this are ridiculous! I just want a new stringer that isn't glide bars because I do string fan pattern racquets from time-to-time and all I've ever strung on was a Model D w/ the H upgrades I wrote about and my current newer machine. It's a Prince P200. :) I just started stringing 3-5 years ago.
     
    #12
  13. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Even if you had to send it to TennisMachines.com guys, you'd only have to maybe spend another $100 or so to have that tension head working like new. It would still be worth the $100. I'm obviously amazed by such an inexpensive machine listing.
     
    #13
  14. BigGriff

    BigGriff Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    725
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    Yeah $100 is a steal! Awesome deal.
     
    #14
  15. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

    Great information and just what I needed to hear. The Zebest looks to be in the best shape (of the cranks), but I was worried about the quality, though the seller says he uses it a lot.

    I knew the Ektelon was the best brand, but was concerned about the age, but again, it's been put to use recently, so I guess it's functional. He said he has to add a pound to get the tension right, and that there's a little rust on the crank arm. Should that be a warning?

    Then I was deciding that the newer Gamma might be the way to go even though I liked the ease of learning on a crank.

    Thanks again for your help. I'll be sure to be around asking a lot more questions with pictures of my 'new' stringer!
     
    #15
  16. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Ektelon. They are easy to calibrate. It's only $100! I might have the owner's manual in a .pdf too.
     
    #16
  17. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,699
    Good luck with that. I am glad it looks like it will be going to an interested and enthusiastic stringer. I have the H Manual in pdf so I am happy to get that to you if you need it (pretty much the same).
     
    #17
  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,811
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    If you never plan to string fan pattern rackets, use ATW patterns, or use the short side for the top cross or two I would go with one of the glide bar machines.

    If not the fixed clamps 602 is your best bet.
     
    #18
  19. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    I could really use the manual. Finding everything I'll need on the UTubes might prove futile.
     
    #19
  20. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Thanks for your opinion, Irvin. Your expertise and videos are greatly appreciated.
     
    #20
  21. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    I Got The Ektelon!!

    Thanks again for all the input.

    I picked up the machine last night.

    Details:

    Ektelon Model DE with H upgrade kit.

    There are the newer (H) style clamps, longer table and guide bars, tensioner nob with single digit markings, upgraded racquet mounts, and other stuff I probably can't figure out yet. There's even the original manual!

    What a great find for just $100.

    So, after getting home and unloading the beast I decided to give it a shot on my Head Youtek Speed MP 16x19. Three and a half hours later I finished my first string job. I knew it would take a long time, and I made a few mistakes along the way, but I'm excited to try again and hopefully improve.

    I'll take some time today to clean it up a bit, grease the bearings, and try some alcohol along the clamps and gripper (though they all held perfectly on my WeissCannon polyester last night).

    You guys rock! Thanks again for the recommendations and guidance.
     
    #21
  22. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I'm jealous!

    I emailed w/ David from this site

    https://sites.google.com/site/stringerupgrade/ektelon-model-c-d-and-de-upgrades

    about his upgrade Youtube videos for machines like yours and he is getting ready to market a table upgrade w/ fixed clamps for approx. $250 or less. After you get a little better, you could do the upgrade and have what amounts to be a Prince Neos 1500 for $350. Amazing!
     
    #22
  23. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Thanks.

    What would an upgraded table look like for me? I've looked through David's site too, and wondered about upgrading to the Gamma 6 point coversion, but I don't know that that's particularly necessary since I already have the H model upgrade. What do you think?
     
    #23
  24. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,699
    ChadW,

    Congrats on the stringer (as I said earlier, I almost jumped on it but restoring it would have been a hobby not a need). A couple of things:

    1. If you need the H manual, post an e-mail and I can send you a pdf.

    2. When cleaning, I think you will find alcohol (I used denatured but I think rubbing alcohol will work just fine) the best solution. Since there are many crevices and small areas, I typically use a toothbrush, Q-tips and a cotton shoelace (good for clamp teeth the tension head grabber) in addition to a soft cloth.

    3. Clean everything--one thing many folks forget is to wipe down the glidebars and the inside of the clamps that grab the bar. And if you keep it clean, it continues to be a workhorse.

    4. It should need very little lubrication -- I typically use sewing machine oil but 3 in 1 should work fine.

    5. Consider investing in a cover or find a big piece of material to cover it when not in use.

    Good luck and happy stringing.

    P.S.: With the H upgrade, I do not believe that you need the 6-pt mounting.
     
    #24
  25. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #25
  26. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Thanks Max.

    The thing came with the H model manual, which helped me a lot as I got going last night.

    Also, the cover was in the box (just a vinyl bag of sorts).
     
    #26
  27. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Ah, yes. I saw that video too. I like the look of my 5-tooth glide bar clamps though, so I didn't think much of it. Would his clamps make that much difference? They don't seem to move too smoothly either...Hmmm...

    But, I'm new at this, so what do I know?!?!
     
    #27
  28. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,399
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    Minor nit, you can string fan patterns on a Neos/Ektelon using universal flying clamps. I've done it a few times.
     
    #28
  29. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,699
    Wow, even a better deal than I thought. Not sure which cover you have--my original Ektelon cover is vinyl and nylon and I will bet you using it has added years of useful life to my machine.
     
    #29
  30. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Thanks again MAX

    I got into it with some rubbing alcohol and q-tips and am thrilled at how clean I was able to get it.

    If you wouldn't mind sending me the .pdf you have, just to be sure that nothing is missing from my included manual, I'd appreciate it. (By the way, it's kind of funny seeing literature like that from a company that lists a contact fax number, and no website information--times have changed, eh?)


    chwaisath (at) hotmail

    thanks
     
    #30
  31. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,699
    ^^^

    Done--should be on its way. No website . . . I feel really old now (I bought my H brand new in 1986).
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
    #31
  32. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Now, an actual stringing question:

    In the throat, do I want to pull the strings above or below the frame? There's a height adjustment on the throat mounting point, and on my first attempt, I raised it up so that I could take the string below the throat/handle to the tensioner. But I see on a lot of videos now that others pull over the frame (between the triangle made by the throat joining and the bottom hoop of the stringbed).

    Which is preferred?

    Thanks again!
     
    #32
  33. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,699
    Either will work. If you pull over the frame, you might wish to put a small pad on the frame so that the string doesn't mar the frame. I have a small strip of leather (left over from a regriping) that I keep in my tray for padding purposes. Just about anything will work to protect the frame.

    Also, wanted to confirm that you did get the H manual?
     
    #33
  34. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    363
    Prince P-200 Disassembly??

    Irvin, do you know if the Prince P-200 can be disassembled and how so? can the stand come off at least/

    Why cant you do around the world with glide bars? it only takes a few extra seconds to take slide the clamp off the rail and position on the the other rail>> Thanks
     
    #34
  35. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,811
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Not sure about the P-200 I had a p-100. Wat type of disassembly are you referring to?

    You can do an ATW with a glide bar machine it is just more difficult. Some glide bar machine have the same glide bars for the mains and crosses. If so then only a main or a cross glide bar can be on the machine at the same time. Depending on the ATW pattern used it could get complicated, and if you don't have a starting clamp forget it.
     
    #35
  36. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    A friend of mine recently bought a Ektelon DE with an H upgrade. This machine was previously owned by Wayne Zeyen, a well known stringer in the Stockton area. He passed away a while back and his family was selling his machine.

    The machine had a half glide bar clamp. I don't know if this was a standard part.

    On a rare occasion, I have to agree with Irvin. An ATW can be done with a glide bar machine, it's just more difficult. Basically when you start the ATW, you will need to move the glide bar perpendicularly (90 degrees), while holding the string in the tensioner. Though it can be done without a starting clamp, though it would be helpful. (this is where I disagree with Irvin) If you make a mistake, you are SOL. Which brings me back to the half bar clamp. I think it can be used to clamp the perpendicular string while the full glide bar is still holding the previous string. I'll have to give it a try, to make sure, but I think it's possible.
     
    #36
  37. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I posted a video of me stringing an ATW w/ a P200 on here and on Youtube. Search either. I didn't edit it for time but you'd get the idea. I use a floating clamp instead of a starting clamp.

    Email me if you want the manual for the P200. It can come apart. The only issues are that you really need to snip off about 1 inch of the hoses before reattaching; at least, that is what Prince suggests.
     
    #37
  38. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,811
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    The half bars rested on a rail in the center if the table. You best have the right turntable and bars if you are going to try it. Half bars were used for crosses on the P-100 and the long bar for the mains. You could not have a half bar and long bar on the same side if the turntable.

    EDIT: Here is a picture showing a short bar and long bar mounted on the P-100 stringer.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
    #38
  39. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    I'll post a picture next time I go to my friend's house. It's different from your picture. His has a a full box in the center like any other Model D or H. Also it's a shop model with a steel cabinet base stand. It's easier to post a picture than describing it.

    Update: Here is a picture of what I'm talking about.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
    #39

Share This Page