Gamma X-ST Review and Pictures

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by samyang, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    [​IMG]

    One of my friends left a Kilppermate to me when he went to study MBA in States two years ago. He will come back Toronto soon, so I have to return it and find one for my own. Overall Kilpermate is a nice machine, very steady. I used it a lot during these two years. However I don’t want to go with another drop weight machine because it usually takes me several times to make that arm stay at horizontal level. Besides when I used some string like Head Rocket C3 which has a kind of soft ‘skin’, the job became very frustrating, because the gripper will sometimes squash the string.
    http://i50.tinypic.com/67ph85.jpg

    I did many researches online. Based on reviews form other users I narrowed down my targets to three crank machines: SP CRUMP, Alpha Revo 4000 and Gamma X-ST. I chose table top machine because I only string for myself once a week on average, twice at most in the summer, no need to use a professional upright one. And my budget, $600~$700, not allow me to go with fancy electrical machine either.

    Since I am living in Canada, it looks like SP CRUMP is a best option. The price is acceptable even in Canadian dollars adding deliver charges. The picture on SP website is pretty. I like the red color and the design of the mounting system. Only thing I don’t like is the clamp base. I was advised by Steve that two Spring Assisted clamp base will cost additional 200 CDN. Another reason I didn’t go with SP is this product is out of stock. Compared to the other two, Revo 4K is supper valued. It looks solid and has everything I need. It would be a good deal if I have a tight budget. However, I finally pull the trigger to Gamma, because personally I like their unique design better. To me Gamma looks more fashionable and less cumbersome.

    I bought Gamma X-ST online from atssports.com, the shopping was easy and the free FedEx Home delivery was supper fast. I ordered on Monday, the item arrived to my shipping address on Wednesday. Last Friday I went to Buffalo to pick it up. The shipping box is much bigger than I expected. It took me sometime to assemble it. Not too hard, but could be better if Gamma include an instruction or something. I know the product manual is downloadable online, but it still feels weird when I opened the box without finding it. The machine is awesome! The real product looks much more beautiful than the pictures online. When I saw it online I thought this machine would be much lighter than Revo 4K, because the turntable looks very thin to me. But actually the real product is like a tank, very solid.
    [​IMG]
    http://i47.tinypic.com/24wzhxe.jpg

    Mounting System
    It’s a six point called ‘Quick Mount’ System, very simple to use. I heard it’s slow to adjust but actually when I use both of my hand to turn the knob (all knobs on one side will go one direction) it still goes very fast. Maybe a self-centering system could be even faster, but it’s already fast enough for me. It holds the racquet very well, quite stable and secure, I didn’t notice any movement or deformation during stringing.
    [​IMG]
    http://i48.tinypic.com/25p08s1.jpg
    http://i50.tinypic.com/k3826h.jpg

    Clamp Bases
    Quick Action Clamp Bases is definitely spring assisted, much better than I thought. A little turn will lock it down, no need extra strength to push, very smooth to use. I wonder to know how much better their high-end switch-action clamp base could be. Before I got it I thought the black lever is plastic but actually it is made of metal.
    http://i49.tinypic.com/jpdidd.jpg

    Clamps
    It is diamond coated, holding string very well and very simple to adjust. After used it, I don’t want to touch my old floated clamps again. I heard Gamma’s clamp is very good before, now I believed it. It’s perfect!
    http://i47.tinypic.com/so4j2b.jpg

    Turntable
    As I said it’s heavy-duty. I like the finishing most. It looks pretty delicate. I think it could last dozens of years without stain. The design of table lock is also pretty unique. Although it made of some kind of plastic, I think it’s strong enough to hold the table.
    http://i48.tinypic.com/jads3s.jpg
    http://i48.tinypic.com/ofmvdg.jpg

    Tension Head
    I don’t have much experience on it. So far I did 3 racquets. It’s much more convenient and faster than a drop weight machine. Someone told me that lockout machine is less accurate than a constant pulling machine and normally 1lb less. Is that true? My calibrator will come soon. Let’s see how it goes. It also comes with a ‘diablo’, I’m not to sure if it is good, cause I didn’t have any chance to use other lockout machine. One other question, is there any one doesn’t lose 360 turn after upgrading to Wise head? Is there any ‘lower’ adapter for Gamma?
    http://i46.tinypic.com/72t2k6.jpg
    http://i47.tinypic.com/ndas0o.jpg
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2hg8j61.jpg

    Base
    The difference between Progression ST II and X-ST is the base. Progression has plastic cover on the base while X-ST has a metal base with two tool drawers. I chose the later because I think X-ST will last longer and I like the design of drawers, very useful. It’ would be better if X-ST have a red color option which will fit my cabinet better :)
    http://i46.tinypic.com/9a4z7m.jpg

    Accessories and free String
    I like the tools Gamma provided except the pathfinder awl, it’s useful but I think it’s a little bit fragile and easy to break. Is there any better pathfinder? Other tools have very good quality though. There are five giveaway strings and a book of USRSA, I have never used Gamma Strings before, good?
    http://i45.tinypic.com/dbs7d1.jpg

    Service
    There was a slight problem that when I opened the package I noticed there was a small breakage on one side of plastic Base End Cap. I guess it’s damaged during shipment. It doesn’t affect using the machine at all, but still I contacted with ATS Sports customer service. They replied me quickly and Bret also helped me to figure out which part I need and sent out the replacement immediately. That’s an experience of good customer service. I think customer service is equally important to the quality of a product.

    Any cons? Well, I would prefer Gamma change all those plastic components to metal parts, including table lock and drawers etc., for sure these will increase the total weight and costs, but it will make the machine invincible. But in all, the quality and service of Gamma X-ST is great. Highly recommend!
     
    #1
  2. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    looks like one post only allow 4 pics
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #2
  3. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Clamp Bases
    [​IMG]
    Clamps
    [​IMG]
    Turntable
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #3
  4. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Tension Head
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #4
  5. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Base
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    free String
    [​IMG]
     
    #5
  6. VGP

    VGP Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,311
    Location:
    Location: Location
    samyang - thanks for sharing your experiences and your detailed account and great pictures.

    Glad to hear from yet another satisfied Gamma customer (of which I am one).

    I like that you feel as if you've bought an appropriate machine for your needs. I hope you get many years of service out of your X-ST.

    I wish you happy stringing and be sure to come often to TTW if you need any amount of tips, tricks, and advice on stringing.......
     
    #6
  7. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Thank you VGP,

    I am a new user to TTW forum, I will need more tips and advices, that's for sure. I've gotten a lot valuable information from it in the past few month, thank you all.
     
    #7
  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,855
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I have had my X-ST for almost 2 years now and have been pretty happy with it.
     
    #8
  9. pingu

    pingu Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    407
    Thanks for sharing the nice pics of your new machine. I'm sure you'll love it. BTW, good old Klippermate does look good in that red tool cart :)
     
    #9
  10. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    I bought a digital hand hold scale on ****, and I used it to calibrate the machine. I setup the tension head to 60lbs and the number on scale is 59..58..57..., is that normal?
     
    #10
  11. Gamma Tech

    Gamma Tech Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yes. that is the way a crank (or spring tensioner or lockout or whatever you want to call it) machine works. you calibrate for the maximum tension that is reached on the calibrator. the string begins to relax immediately and the machine doesn't pull more tension.

    FYI- an electronic or dropweight will continue to pull the relaxation out of the string and try to maintain the set tension. how well it maintains the set tension depends on the user for dropweight and the quality of the electronic machine.

    FYI (x2)- if you are changing from a CP machine to a ST machine it is recommended to raise the tension 5-10% on a ST machine to match the string bed stiffness of a CP machine. you will have the same string bed stiffness w/ both machines just different ways of getting it.

    bret
     
    #11
  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,855
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Like Gamma Tech said, this is normal. So you really need to read the tension right away to gauge whether your machine needs calibration.
     
    #12
  13. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Thank You Bret for the detailed explanation. The machine works great! so far I did 5 racquets including one squash, perfect!
     
    #13
  14. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Thanks.
    Maybe later I can also add a wise head to it, but not now, or my wife will kill me for sure
     
    #14
  15. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    Nice pictures! You must be a professional Photographer. ;) Also nice review.
     
    #15
  16. SecondServe

    SecondServe Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    USA
    Great photography Sam! Does the Gamma X-ST have full 360 degree rotation during stringing even with the diablo? From your pictures it looks like it would clear with the racquet mounted.
     
    #16
  17. Gamma Tech

    Gamma Tech Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    yep. unless of course your grip was for King Kong.
    bret
     
    #17
  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,855
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Or if your machine is right next to a wall!
     
    #18
  19. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Thanks. Might be the equipment makes the difference. These photos were taken by 105/2.8vr micro, 17-55/2.8 lenses plus a SB800 flash.
     
    #19
  20. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    it dose, however, i wonder if it still has a 360 turn with a wise head and a adapter?
     
    #20
  21. 156MPHserve

    156MPHserve Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,076
    sam, where did you get it shipped to? I'm from Toronto as well and I'm looking for a place to ship purchases from the US to.
     
    #21
  22. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    I had it shipped to CBIUSA, www(dot)cbiusa(dot)com. the location is just two blocks away from rainbow bridge, very convenient. The handling fee is totally around $11. Normally they charge only $5 per parcel. however, X-ST is over 50lbs, there is an additional $5, which is not too bad.
     
    #22
  23. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,880
    I am faced with the exact same dilemma. I am probably going to get the Revo, and free shipping to the US. I was thinking of shipping it to CBIUSA and then picking it up. But what about the tax exempt. Did you announce it? or did you not?
     
    #23
  24. vkamphonephong

    vkamphonephong New User

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    45
    I don't mean to bring back and old post, but thanks samyang for this review and your account of the experience you had with this machine. I was stuck between a choosing this machine and the Alpha Revo 4000. This review influenced me enough to put in my order for one :)

    How do you like it so far? Everything still good?

    VK
     
    #24
  25. samyang

    samyang New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    So far everything's great! The machine is a tank, no problem at all. I don't remember how many string jobs I did on it, ~40 something? I only adjusted the clamps and clamp base several times.

    I also got the turn table handles, which make the machine looks even better.
     
    #25
  26. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,723
    The handles are cool, I actually find the turn table on my 5800 ELS TOO smooth. I was working regularly on ESII+ machines, and the turntables were just right, I could weave without the turn table rotating on me like crazy. It's actually kind of aggravating that it's so smooth.

    I also love the new Gamma turn table lock, it is an EXTREMELY nice solution to turn table locking. I'm guessing the materials don't make it cost prohibitive to manufacture, either. Kudos to Gamma on that one, definite design win, IMO.

    I'd like to point out that the "spring assisted" clamps are only spring assisted on the return (after unclamping), there is no spring assist on the holding of the clamp. This is one of those common misconceptions I see on the boards.

    This isn't to say that the clamps are bad, by any means. The bases hold nice and snug under regular usage, and are much better than some others I've used (which I won't name here). I've seen a few tightening issues with the clamps under heavy, heavy usage, but I suspect that was due to operator abuse (aka being a little too vigorous with the clamps).
     
    #26

Share This Page